FORT JENNINGS — Basketball can be a game of runs.
In Saturday’s nonconference girls basketball game between Fort Jennings and Shawnee, huge runs by Shawnee in the first and third quarters, paved the way for a convincing 63-33 victory over Fort Jennings.
Saturday’s contest was Shawnee’s season opener. Fort Jennings falls to 0-2 on the young campaign.
Grace Freiberger led Shawnee (1-0) and all scorers with 25 points, including three 3-pointers. Teammate Zoe Best had 15 points, four steals and four rebounds. Both Freiberger and Best are freshmen.
“They (Freiberger and Best) can handle the ball for us, and they can both shoot,” Shawnee head coach Rachel Rumbaugh said. “It’s a real game changer for us.”
Jessie Foust led Fort Jennings with 12 points, including two 3-pointers. Foust also came away with six rebounds and two steals.
Shawnee was off to the races from the opening tip.
The Indians started the game with a 14-0 run, and Fort Jennings could not recover. That 14-0 score held up to the end of the first quarter.
Tessa Stahler (five points, three assists) nailed a 3-pointer from the right wing to ignite the Indians, early on.
Shawnee’s defensive pressure helped cause seven first-quarter turnovers for the Musketeers. For the game, Fort Jennings turned the ball over 25 times.
“We’ve really been working on our press, and it paid off for us,” Rumbaugh said. “That’s a real credit to the girls. They did a really nice job of getting touches on the ball.”
Shawnee turned the ball over 17 times on the night.
Fort Jennings scored its first points of the contest, with a little more than a minute into the second quarter. Foust erased the goose egg on the scoreboard for the Musketeers with a field goal, making it 14-2. Foust went on to score 10 second-quarter points.
Fort Jennings outscored the Indians 16-12 in the second quarter, as Shawnee went into the halftime break with a 26-16 lead.
“We went into a little lull with our defense,” Rumbaugh said. “I think we just got comfortable for a little while – which we can do. We have lot of young girls playing. I think that’s just an experience thing for those girls. They will learn from that.”
The Musketeers were 6 of 13 shooting from the floor in the second period. Shawnee was 5 of 13 from the field.
Freiberger led Shawnee in the first half with nine points. Best had eight points and made three steals at the defensive end.
In the third quarter, the Indians made a huge separation, as they outscored the Musketeers 34-10, to pull out to a commanding 60-26 lead by the end of the third quarter. Freiberger scored 14 points in that big third quarter for Shawnee.
For the game, Shawnee shot 41 percent from the field. The Indians were just 11 of 34 from the floor in the first half for 32-percent shooting.
Fort Jennings shot 32 percent from the floor on the night.
Rumbaugh said that with a young squad, it will be a work in progress this season.
“We had a couple scrimmages get canceled. So, we just haven’t been able to see other teams that much. So, they’ll come along. They did a nice job for us tonight,” she said.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.