BATH TOWNSHIP — Longtime Bath girls head basketball coach Greg Mauk has been preaching to his team the importance of being focused and locked in.
Mauk knew he needed this from his team, more than ever, when Fort Loramie came to Bath for a huge nonconference showdown on Saturday.
Fort Loramie came into Saturday’s game ranked No. 1 in Division IV. Bath is ranked No. 7 in Division II.
Coming into Saturday’s contest, Fort Loramie was riding a 42-game winning streak.
The Wildkittens were dialed in Saturday, especially at the defensive end, as they led from start to finish, en route to a convincing 55-33 victory.
Bath’s defensive pressure helped force 24 Fort Loramie turnovers.
At the offensive end, Bath was stellar, as it connected on 65 percent of its field goal attempts.
Chandler Clark led Bath (16-2) and all scorers with 19 points, including three 3-pointers. Clark also dished out four assists. Ruby Bolon scored 13 points, pulled down four rebounds and made three steals. Lexi Renner had seven points and four steals for the Wildkittens.
“We had eight kids play today, and all eight kids were tuned in to what we had to do as a group; and that was – we couldn’t have one person not play hard on defense,” Mauk said. “Every lineup we had in the game, they all were on their toes. Everybody was playing hard. Everybody was checking out, which didn’t allow them (Fort Loramie) to get a lot of second shots. They had a few of them in the third quarter, but after that we did a pretty good job.”
Fort Loramie struggled at the offensive end. The Redskins shot 35 percent from the floor.
Dana Rose led Fort Loramie (16-1) with 10 points. Teammate Kenzie Hoelscher had nine points and five rebounds.
To start the game, both teams came out in full-court man-to-man pressure. Early on, both teams worked the ball around the press in an attempt to get a good look at the basket.
Bath finally broke the ice and scored, a little less than two minutes into the contest. The Wildkittens scored the first four points of the game. Renner and Clark each had a field goal, early on.
By the 2:59 mark, Bath had pushed out to a 12-4 lead on a 3-pointer from the left wing by Esther Bolon (six points, three steals).
Bath led 16-6 at the end of the first quarter.
The Wildkittens were 7 of 10 shooting from the field.
Clark led Bath with seven first-quarter points.
Fort Loramie struggled at the offensive end. The Redskins were just 3 of 14 from the field.
But Fort Loramie battled back.
At the 2:40 mark of the second quarter, Rose hit an inside shot and cut it to 5, 20-15.
However, Bath responded and slipped out with a 24-17 lead by the halftime break.
In the second quarter, Bath’s defensive pressure helped cause eight Fort Loramie turnovers. The Redskins had 12 miscues in the first half.
Clark led Bath in the first half with seven points.
The Wildkittens were 10 for 17 from the floor in the first half. Fort Loramie, after a dismal shooting performance in the first quarter, was 4 for 4 in the second quarter, ending the half 7 of 18 from the field.
Rose led the Redskins with eight first-half points.
Both teams continued to get after it at the defensive end.
The Wildkittens turned the ball over eight times in the third. Fort Loramie turned it over seven times.
Then, Bath began to pull away.
Chandler Clark had two 3-pointers, while Esther Bolon had a 3-pointer in the third to help push Bath out to a 39-26 lead by the third stop.
“She (Chandler Clark) is such a competitor,” Mauk said. “Sometimes she gets so competitive that she kind of loses sight of what we need to do, but she got herself refocused and had two big shots at the end of that big third quarter. … They were huge.”
Fort Loramie continued to struggle at the offensive end. In the second half, the Redskins were 6 of 19 from the floor.
“We turned them over 24 times, but we also had 23 (turnovers) of our own; and a lot of those were in the beginning of the third quarter,” Mauk said. “Once we got past that, we were OK. All of our kids played tough. I’m just really proud of the whole group.”
Fort Loramie held the slight edge on the boards, 20-18.
“I can’t say enough for the way we have hung together,” Mauk said. “We’ve had adversity. We have a senior that has not played a game, and we have Maddie Renner, who hurt her knee a week ago. We’re trying to plug new kids in. It’s just the ‘next person up’ mentality for us; and everybody keeps doing their job.”
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.