WAPAKONETA — Wapakoneta coach Rusty Allen likes his 2-3 zone defense.
But when Elida’s Shyah Wheeler began carving it up, Allen felt he had to change.
Wapakoneta went man in the second half and that helped the Redskins pull away with a 47-28 Western Buckeye League girls basketball victory Thursday night against Elida.
Wheeler, who has 1,076 career points, finished with 16 points. She had 15 at the half.
“Everything is going to run through Shy,” Allen said. “She’s a great player. We felt we weren’t doing a very good job of finding her in our matchup so we made that adjustment at halftime. We gave (Makenzie) Wilson that task of face-guarding her and not letting her get any clean looks. And Wilson did a great job on her.
“It took them out of their whole flow, offensively.’’
Sarah Pothast had 17 points and six rebounds for the Redskins.
Makenzie Wilson added nine points and eight rebounds.
Wapak point guard Lexi Jacobs had nine points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.
Elida is 5-9, 1-4 in the WBL. Wapakoneta is 9-5, 4-1 in the WBL.
Elida started the year 1-7, but entered Thursday winning four of its last five.
The Redskins led 31-20 at the half and had been playing a 2-3 zone in the first half.
Wheeler weaved her way through and around the zone for 15 at halftime. She had two long-range 3-pointers over the top of the zone.
Allen called off the zone at the half.
Instead, he went man-to-man with the 6-foot Wilson face-guarding the 5-10 Wheeler in the third quarter.
Not only did Wheeler score only one point the rest of the way, Elida was 0 of 10 in the third quarter.
“They started face-guarding Shyah and that got us all frazzled,” Elida coach Chrissy Billiter said. “They were like, ‘If Shyah doesn’t touch it, what do we do?’ Wilson did a good job on her. And if we couldn’t get a rebound and an early fastbreak, then it takes us out of what we want to do. … We didn’t have hardly any opportunities to get it and go.’’
The Bulldogs were 1 of 16 from the field in the second half.
Wapak outscored Elida 10-2 in the third quarter to pull out to a 41-22 lead.
Wapak had a height advantage with 6-foot Wilson and 6-1 Pothast, both down on the blocks.
“Boxing out and rebounding have been our nemesis all year,” Billiter said. “Then, you throw two big girls in there. We have a hard enough time boxing out one.’’
Pothast had three layups for six points in the first quarter to help the Redskins out to a 13-5 lead.
“When you can put 6-foot and 6-1 out there together, it solves a lot of problems for you,” Allen said.
Wheeler then canned a 3-pointer and a layup to get Elida within 13-10 after the first quarter.
It was more Pothast and Wilson down inside in the second quarter.
Wheeler canned a 3-pointer to get Elida within 20-15 in the second.
But the Redskins ripped off a 9-0 run to pull out to a 29-15 lead.
The Redskins won the boards 34-30.
Wapak shot 40 percent from the field and was 3 of 12 on 3-pointers.
Elida shot 21 percent from the field and was 3 of 13 on 3-pointers.
“There are moments, but we have to finish the game,” Billiter said.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.