MIDDLE POINT – If you’ve got it flaunt it.
Spencerville had a distinct height advantage with post player Alex Carter at 6-foot-4 and the Bearcats utilized her size to help pull away from Lincolnview in the second half and record a 57-43 victory in Northwest Conference action Friday.
With the win, Spencerville remains unbeaten at 6-0 and improves to 2-0 in the NWC. Lincolnview falls to 2-4 and 0-1 in conference action.
“We knew that we had an advantage inside,” Spencerville head coach Greg Ekis said. “We turned over a few too many times trying to throw it in there in the first half and then in the second half Alex made some great catches and finished and got us off to a good start.”
Lincolnview head coach Dan Williamson, who came into the game undermanned, said he was proud that his team kept battling.
“They always say you can’t teach height,” Williamson said. “She (Carter) has some skill to go with her 6-4. She was a handful for us tonight and we knew she would be but I am proud of our girls who battled and did not back down. We are obviously undersized and our numbers were low tonight for a couple of different reasons but we didn’t back down.”
Carter, who was one of four Bearcats to break the double-digit barrier, spearheaded the Spencerville offensive charge in the second half when she scored six of her 11 points to open up a double digit lead going into the fourth quarter.
In the first half, Lincolnview did a solid job of denying Carter the ball in the first half, battled evenly with the Bearcats as defense dictated the early tempo of the game.
While the Lancers threw up a 2-3 zone and packed the paint to prevent Carter from getting in a groove, the Bearcat defense was also effective on defense and the Lancers struggled to score points.
By halftime, Spencerville held a slim 24-20 lead. Outside shooting from Kelsey Shaffer was the main offensive threat as she hit four 3-pointers in the first two periods, to provided the necessary offense. Shaffer would finish the game with a team-high 12 points.
The tide would turn for the Bearcats at the onset of the third quarter when Carter scored six of the Bearcats eight points in Spencerville’s 12-5 run in the first five minutes and with 2:51 left in the first quarter, Spencerville saw its lead grow from four to 11 points. Going into the fourth quarter, the Bearcats owned a 40-28 lead.
With the double-digit lead, the Bearcats began to find more a rhythm in the final stanza and with their smothering defense, Spencerville would never relinquish the double-digit advantage.
Spencerville’s Abby Satterfield scored all 10 of her points in the fourth quarter and completed the double-double night by snaring 11 caroms.
Coming off the bench, Bearcat Gillian Goecke chipped in 10 points, including six in the decisive third quarter.
Not to be overlooked was the defensive effort from Nelaya Burden. The Bearcat junior, who had two points, produced seven steals to highlight the team’s strong defensive performance.
“They are 6-0 for a reason,” Williamson said. “Good teams are hard to hold down for 32 minutes. We couldn’t have played much better in the first half being only down by four. We made some shots. They missed some shots. But they made those shots in the second half and we started to miss them because we didn’t have the girls to sub in.”
Ekis said they did not get many points off the turnovers but it did enough to disrupt Lincolnview’s offensive approach.
“It changed the tempo and it sped them (Lincolnview) up a little bit and we like to face and take advantage of the athletes that we have,” Ekis said. “We hit a shots, Kelsey made some shots early, and we wanted to try and drive some gaps and once we got past halftime we were able to do that more and kind of attack the basket better.”
For Lincolnview, Adia Welch scored 12 points.
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.