BATH TOWNSHIP — Bath tossed its 2-3 zone into the closet at halftime.
Instead, the Wildkittens came out in a full-court man.
The full-court pressure helped Bath notch a 33-28 victory over Wapakoneta in a Western Buckeye League girls basketball game Thursday night.
Bath forced Wapak into 18 turnovers, with 12 coming in the second half.
Bath is 13-4, 4-2 in the WBL. Wapak is 10-6, 4-2 in the WBL.
The press helped break Wapak’s rhythm of simply dumping the ball inside to the post.
“We allowed them to get into their halfcourt offense so easily in the first half,” Bath coach Greg Mauk said. “We had to find a way of disrupting that process. I thought we’d get after them a little bit and make it tougher for them to get the ball in the halfcourt.’’
Bath was ahead 21-20 after three quarters and led 27-26 with 1:06 to go.
The Wildkittens were able to ease away at the end when Chandler Clark and Jaidyn Hale both made two free throws off the one-and-one in the final minute.
Hale led Bath with nine points. Elysabette Andrews had eight points and four rebounds.
Lindsay Singhaus had six points and six rebounds for the Wildkittens.
Wapakoneta’s 6-foot-1 senior Sarah Pothast had a complete game with 11 points, 11 rebounds and six points. Pothast continues to play with a bad back.
Katie Engle, who played with a brace on her dislocated right thumb, had eight points with two 3-pointers.
Wapak point guard Lexi Jacobs got in foul trouble and had seven points.
“It’s not like we haven’t face this (a man press) before,” Wapak coach Rusty Allen said. “That’s what’s frustrating. We didn’t have some girls show up tonight. And we had some uncharacteristic turnovers. We were right there and we were doing everything, defensively, we needed to do. Offensively, I don’t know if they sped us up or we sped ourselves up, probably a combination of both.
“Lexi getting into foul trouble hurt us a little bit, but we had 18 turnovers.’’
Helping hold Jacobs in check was Bath’s Kennedy Fagan, who followed all over the floor in the second half.
“Lexi (Jacobs) is a very good shooter and she can go off the dribble very well, so my goal was to keep her in front and not let her get any open shots,” Fagan said. “I think we all knew what we needed to get done (with the man press) on the floor.’’
Added Mauk, “I thought (Fagan) did a great job.’’
Clark’s two free throws gave Bath a 29-26 lead with 51 seconds left.
Wapakoneta then turned the ball over and Singhaus scored on a fast-break layup to make it 31-26.
“That (offensive) flow came from our defense,’’ Mauk said.
Hale’s two foul shots sealed it at 33-28 with eight seconds left.
Wapak won the boards 23-16.
The first half was a defensive struggle.
Wapakoneta played mostly man. Bath countered with its 2-2-1 full-court press, then a 2-3 zone.
The Wildkittens led 14-13 at the half.
Andrews came out strong and with eight points at the half.
Pothast had eight points and six rebounds by halftime.
Wapak shot 41 percent from the field and was 3 of 11 on 3-pointers.
Bath hit 31 percent from the field and was 2 of 11 on 3-pointers.
“I thought we had a solid game out of all of our players,” Mauk said.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.