SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — There was a stretch in which Shawnee’s Zoe Best was flying end-to-end controlling the game at both ends.
And there wasn’t a lot Columbus Grove was able to do about it.
Best and Grace Freiberger powered Shawnee to a 52-42 victory over Columbus Grove Tuesday at Shawnee’s Lappin Gymnasium.
Best, a 5-foot-9 sophomore, finished with 19 points, five rebounds and four blocks. She was a second team all-Western Buckeye League player last year.
“That’s one of the best games I’ve seen her play,” Shawnee coach Rachel Rumbaugh said of Best. “She is totally different from last year. She’s being a leader on the floor and at the end of the game she stepped up and took Kenzie King. She is leading us, both on and off the floor.’’
Freiberger had 12 points, including six in the final quarter. She was a first team all-WBL player as a freshman last year.
Shawnee’s Kelly Cooper, a 5-10 sophomore, had nine points and 17 rebounds.
Shawnee, which has five starters back from a 15-8 team, is 2-0.
“Columbus Grove is a very good team and this is a good confidence booster for the girls,” Rumbaugh said.
Columbus Grove (0-1) has three starters back from a 19-8 regional finals team.
“Shawnee has a lot of length and athleticism and have two sophomores who are really good and have some size inside,” Grove coach Brian Schroeder said. “I thought they played really well tonight.
“It was our first game and offensively, it was not real clean. In loose balls, I thought Shawnee was a little quick to them.’’
Shawnee won the boards, 38-25. Shawnee blocked seven Grove shots.
“We left some points out there around the rim tonight, but that’s also a credit to Shawnee’s length and athleticism,” Schroeder said.
Lauryn Auchmuty led Grove with 13 points and three 3-pointers.
Kenzie King scored 12 with two 3-pointers.
“Kenzie is a very good player and she was one of our focuses tonight and we held her to two points in the second half,” Rumbaugh said. “We rotated four girls on her. The main goal was to contain her. … I’m very proud of the way the girls responded.’’
King has 917 career points and set the girls school record for 3-pointers in a game with eight.
Best said of guarding King, “She’s a great player and I couldn’t let her shoot any more threes.’’
Shawnee led 38-35 after three quarters before Freiberger took control.
Freiberger scored on a layup on a quick pass from the top of the key from Best. Freiberger was fouled and made the foul shot.
That gave Shawnee a 41-35 lead.
Freiberger then sank a 3-pointer and the Shawnee lead grew to 44-35 with 3:26 to play.
Cooper hit a putback and the Indians led 46-35 with 3:05 left.
That capped an 8-0 Shawnee run.
Shawnee led 16-15 after the first quarter and 30-28 at the half.
Best had 14 points at the half.
King had 10 first-half points with a pair of 3-pointers.
Shawnee came out in a 2-2-1 press and Grove had some success when it broke the press.
The Bulldogs went out to a 10-4 early lead.
Shawnee outscored Grove 12-5 the rest of the opening quarter to take a one-point lead after the first.
Best did a little of everything at both ends.
She blocked shots, guarded King in the final quarter and knocked down medium-range jump shots.
Best was operating down on the baseline with 8-to-12 footers and hit three in a row in the second quarter.
Best said she spent time this past summer working on her jump shot.
“I’ve been working on my shot, my finishing and my short-range pull ups,” Best said. “I went to workouts and was perfecting my perimeter shot and it paid off this game.’’
Leipsic 59, Arlington 29
LEIPSIC — Whitney Langhals had 20 points, seven rebounds and five steals, Marisa Hermiller had 15 points and eight rebounds and Ava Henry scored 12 for Leipsic.
Delphos Jefferson 70,
Alyvia Lindeman (24), Lauren French (15), Josie McGue (12) and Alycia Lindeman (12) each scored in double digits for Jefferson.
Kalida 29, St. Marys 26
KALIDA — Camille Hovest had nine points and seven rebounds and Brooke Vennekotter scored eight for Kalida. Cora Rable had seven points and Karsyn McGlothen scored six for St. Marys.
LCC 47, Fort Jennings 34
Bridget Mulcahy had 18 points and Olivia Stolly scored 16 for Lima Central Catholic.
Fort Jennings 34
Rachel VonSossan had 11 points and Maggie Pothast scored 10 for Fort Jennings.
MIDDLE POINT — Kendall Bollenbacher had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Makayla Jackman had nine points and Carsyn Looser contributed 14 rebounds for Lincolnview. Elise Kramer had 11 points and seven rebounds and Carly Thorbahn scored eight for Ottoville.
Cory-Rawson 45, Ada 32
ADA — Makayla Gillfillan had 17 points and Karissa Welte scored 10 for C-R.
Lehman Catholic 28, Perry 26
SIDNEY — Mi’auni Hall had 15 points and Mary Hoersten scored nine for Perry.
Pandora-Gilboa 52, Waynesfield-Goshen 51
Lacie Fenstermaker (20), Maddie Rutsch8illing (13) and Tori Duling (12) each scored in double digits for P-G. Chloe Baumgardner had 12 points and Leah Werner scored 11 for W-G.
Celina 2,191, Parkway 2,091
CELINA — Ashtyn Huber had the high game (179) and tw0-game series (328) for Celina. Emily Schaefer had the high game (165) and series (324) for Parkway.
Delphos Jefferson 2,090
CELINA — Brittt Hole had the high game (215) and two-game series (429) for Celina. Braylon Scalf led Jefferson with the high game (177) and series (326).
Ohio Northern 67,
Ohio Wesleyan 51
DELAWARE — Seven players scored between seven and nine points for Ohio Northern at Branch Rickey Arena.
The Polar Bears improved to 4-0 while the Battling Bishops fell to 3-2.
Kate Iliff (Lorian/Steele) and Fort Jennings graduate Kristen Luersman and Ottoville grad Kasey Knippen led the way for ONU with nine points each.
Shawnee grad Alissa Stahler added eight points while Bath grad Jaidyn Hale, Wapakoneta grad Lexi Jacobs and Brynn Serbin finished with seven points each.
UNOH 56, Lourdes 49
SYLVANIA — Kalea Kruser had 18 points and Erin Scott contributed eight rebounds and four assists for the University of Northwestern Ohio (2-5, 1-3 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference).
Bluffton 64, Heidelberg 51
TIFFIN — Brianna Gillig had 21 points and 16 rebounds and Leipsic grad Peyton Henry had 10 points and eight rebounds for Bluffton (2-1)
Lourdes 94, UNOH 69
SYLVANIA — Jalen Clark had 13 points and Shawnee grad John Barker scored nine for UNOH (2-7, 1-3 WHAC).
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.