COLUMBUS GROVE — Columbus Grove tested out its press in the first half.
In the final two quarters, it turned it up to the fire-hose level.
Columbus Grove forced 31 Shawnee turnovers and went on to bump off the Indians 57-34 in a girls basketball game Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs led 26-25 at the half, but ripped off a 16-0 spurt in the third quarter behind a swarming 2-2-1 full-court press.
The press forced Shawnee in to 13 turnovers in the third.
“That (the press) was a game-changer, for sure, generating turnovers and pressure and we are able to get baskets in transition,” Columbus Grove coach Brian Schroeder said. “I think the big difference was us just playing the 2-2-1 in a real game. It’s one thing to rep it in practice against your JV (junior varsity) and it’s another thing to do it against another varsity-level team. I think the second quarter we were just feeling it out and finding out where we needed to be, defensively. I thought the girls did a great job coming out in the third quarter and changing the game with the press.’’
After the run was over, the Bulldogs led 42-27 with 1:50 left in the third.
“We repped it (the 2-2-1 press) a couple of days ago and hadn’t put it in all year, but it really changed the game and we did a really good job of adjusting and talking,” Columbus Grove guard Rylee Sybert said.
The Indians weren’t able to recover from not being able to navigate the press.
“It’s not what we planned,” Shawnee first-year coach Rachel Ciminillo said. “We just didn’t run our offense. We didn’t run our press break. We didn’t run our halfcourt offense and it hurt us. We were just throwing the ball away, unnecessarily.’’
It was the opener for Columbus Grove. Shawnee is 0-2.
The Bulldogs returned two starters from last year, Sybert and Angel Schneider. Also back is Abby Gladwell, the team’s first player off the bench last year.
Sybert led the way with 16 points and seven rebounds, including two first-quarter 3-pointers.
Gladwell had 13 points, including five in the key third quarter.
“This year, being our sixth-man last year, it didn’t surprise me at all (about Gladwell),” Schroeder said. “She’s a very good shooter.’’
Freshman Kenzie King had 10 points, with two 3-pointers, and five rebounds. Schneider had seven points and four boards.
Shawnee was led by Yana Floyd’s 12 points and six rebounds.
Tessa Jordan had six points.
The Indians’ Trinity Gearing had two points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.
The Bulldogs sank three quick 3-pointers over the Shawnee 3-2 zone to take a quick 9-4 lead.
Sybert hit two of those 3-pointers and King hit one.
Sybert knows there’s more expected of her this year.
“I have to do something that I really didn’t have to do before,” Sybert said. “I didn’t have to score last year. And I have to step up and be a leader and teach the girls when they have questions. It’s been really fun.’’
At that point, Shawnee switched to a pressing man-to-man.
That got the Indians back in the game, as the Bulldogs led 13-11 after the first quarter.
Shawnee went out to a 23-19 lead with just under five minutes to play in the first half.
Grove rallied late in the half with a 7-2 run to take a 26-25 lead into the half.
Columbus Grove won the boards, 31-27, including 11-5 at the offensive end.
Schroeder said he learned several things from the opener.
“I was happy with our defensive rebounding, being a small team, that’s a point of emphasis,” Schroeder said. “And I was happy with our press.’’
Reach The Lima New sports department at 567-242-0468.