ELIDA — Elida did exactly what it had to do against an inexperienced club.
Elida ran out early and never let Spencerville hang around.
The Bulldogs cruised to a 56-23 boys basketball win over Spencerville on Friday night.
Daniel Unruh led Elida with 18 points and three 3-pointers.
Calan Henderson had seven points, six rebounds and two blocks. Trevor Hooker and Max Parker both had seven points off the bench.
Isaac McAdams had two points and six rebounds for Elida. Matt Fish had nine rebounds. Donte Johnson had four points, five rebounds and two blocks.
Ben Dues led Spencerville with seven points and seven rebounds.
Elida is 3-0. Spencerville is 0-2.
“I was pleased with our effort,” Elida coach Denny Thompson said. “I thought we sustained good energy. Even with that lead, we continued to play hard.’’
The Bearcats graduated the bulk of last year’s team that went 18-6 and won the Northwest Conference.
And it showed early.
Elida ran out to an 11-0 lead and was in charge the rest of the way.
Unruh started the game off with a deep 3-pointer and a 15-footer.
The Bulldogs quickly pulled away.
“I think it’s a matter of taking pride in what we do,” Unruh said. “And we take pride in our defense, in making sure we get it done on the defensive end, and hopefully, it translates into offensive end. I think it did that tonight.’’
Johnson got loose for a fast-break layup and another layup.
Elida led 15-1 after the first quarter.
In the quarter, Elida hit 7 of 14 shots. Of the seven early field goals, five came on layups.
The Bearcats struggled to get in an offensive flow. They turned the ball over nine times in the first quarter and shot 0 of 8 from the floor.
“I’m not going to sugar coat it,” Spencerville coach Kevin Sensabaugh said. “This will be the most challenging season we’re going to have. This is by far starting from scratch. So what we’re trying to do is not focus on winning games right now. Our focus is trying to get better, trying to find the right chemistry amongst these guys. … It’s a whole new dynamic and we have guys learning on the fly. We have guys who are very young and inexperienced and very green. It’s a work in progress.
“But I did see some things I liked. Jackson Goecke fought really hard, even when we were down 30. I thought Ben Dues did a good job battling to the end.’’
Unruh racked up 13 points by the half, as the Bulldogs led 27-7 at the break.
It was more of the same in the third quarter.
After three quarters, Elida’s lead went to 44-12.
Elida shot 40 percent from the field and was 6 of 18 of 3-pointers.
Spencerville shot only 14 percent from the field and was 1 of 9 on 3-pointers.
Spencerville had 16 turnovers, while Elida had 11.
Elida won the boards, 45-27.
In spite of the win, Thompson felt his team needs to do a better job finishing at the rim after drives to the basket.
“There are aspects of this game we have to get better at,” Thompson said. “We really haven’t shot the ball well yet, especially from the free-throw line (where Elida was 4 for 10).’’
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.