Boys basketball: Spencerville shuts down Elida

SPENCERVILLE — Spencerville’s defense got the job done against Elida and it translated into a 74-47 win over the Bulldogs in nonleague affair Friday night.

With the win, Spencerville improves to 2-0 on the season. Elida falls to 1-2 on the year.

“We were ice cold,” Elida head coach Matt Tabler said. “We have to make shots to get into our defense and we talked about live ball turnovers and I think at the beginning of the game we had seven live ball turnovers and that is what Spencerville feast on.”

Bearcat head coach Kevin Sensabaugh said he wanted his team’s defense to dictate the tempo of the game and the Bearcats responded by clamping down the upstart Bulldogs and at the same time the offense was heating up and thriving as they converted turnovers into points and hit some 3-pointers for good measure.

“I think we had a lot of good looks early and we have a lot of guys that can make baskets and that makes a difference,” Sensabaugh said. “We wanted to push the pace and run early and we did a good job of getting out and running early and defensively we were really good early in the game and that set the tone early in the game.

“We were physical. We were into it. I think in the second half we got disjointed a little bit with all the fouls. We were overly aggressive which we were in the second half and it didn’t give the second half much of a flow. But we were outstanding and our guys were locked in. It was a real good defensive first half.”

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In the first half when the Bearcats gained control of the lead, the Bearcats limited Elida to four field goals in the first half and six points in the first quarter. At the same time, the Bearcats, riding the shooting of Josh Henline and the outside shooting of Owen Sensabaugh broke out to a 20-6 lead after the first period and extended its lead to 41-19 at halftime.

A quick 8-2 Bearcat run to open the second half gave pretty much quashed an chance of a Bulldog comeback. In the second half, Spencerville never let the lead dip under 20 points.

“In high school basketball when you give up 20 points in the first quarter and 21 in the second quarter you are not going to win many basketball games,” Tabler said. “We are not going to make excuses for our program. We had a lot of sickness this week and some guys screw up that weren’t able to play tonight but we don’t make excuses in our program.

“We have the next man up mentality and we just didn’t do enough defensively and they did what they wanted offensively. They have a lot of great players and they are a good basketball team but defensively which just had a lot of deficiencies. “

Spencerville’s Josh Henline, who finished with a game-high 26 points, scored 18 points in the first quarter, including a pair of treys in the first eight minutes to help the Bearcats build a big lead. At halftime, Henline had 18 points and the Elida team had 19 total points.

Sensabaugh, who had four 3-pointers in the first half, finished with 12 points.

Bearcat Dylan Smith picked up the offensive slack in the second half as he put in nine of his 16 points in the final 16 minutes.

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One player who did not score a lot of points but was instrumental on the defensive end was Carter Sudhoff who finished with four points but grabbed 11 rebounds and produced four blocked shots. Also coming up big inside was Blake Sommers who scored six points ans grabbed eight rebounds and blocked three shots.

“He is definitely a presence and a rim protector,” Sensabaugh said about Sudhoff. “He us a good shot blocker and has long arms and he is a good rebounder and he can score but we had other guys that scored tonight.

For Elida, Zori Island led the team with 13 points and Seth Sharp finished with 10 points.

In the first two games, Sensabaugh has seen his team score 70 or more points and he said in the first two games he has seen a lot of team work.

“Togetherness,” Sensabaugh said. “They are unselfish guys looking for the open shot. They do it in practice and and they have done it in games and shooting the ball.”

Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.