Girls basketball: Findlay runs past Elida in season opener

ELIDA – Elida girls basketball coach Elise Jenkins is looking to fill voids from the graduation of four players from last year’s squad.

Findlay – Elida’s opponent in Saturday’s season opener – brought a load of experience to the Elida Fieldhouse.

It was a bad combination for Elida, at least early on, as Findlay opened the contest on a 16-0 run and never looked back en route to a convincing 57-25 win at Elida.

“I think the fact that we couldn’t score right away, and we got into a hole, early, really impacted the rest of the game,” Jenkins said. “But Findlay was shooting lights out, and my girls really didn’t adjust to that quick enough. So, there are some things to look back on.”

Overcoming the inexperience at the varsity level is one of Jenkins’ biggest challenges this season.

“I had a freshman out there playing. I had a couple juniors playing that were getting their first real varsity minutes. So, it’s a whole new game for these girls with the faster pace. It’s so much different than what they’re used to. But they’ll get better. It’s (about) rebuilding the chemistry.”

Findlay, on the other hand, starts five seniors and has one senior who comes off the bench.

Madilyn Stechschulte led the Trojans on Saturday with 14 points, including 6 of 8 shooting from the free-throw line. Teammates Katelyn Stechschulte and Aleksyss Arredondo each scored 11 points. Arredondo had two 3-pointers and pulled down seven rebounds.

Elida did not have anyone score in double figures. Lilly Sifrit had six points and six rebounds. Teammates Jojo Knight and Oliveah Sanders each added five points for the Bulldogs.

Findlay’s fast start led to a 27-7 lead by the end of the first quarter. At the halftime break, the Trojans led 36-13. By the end of the third quarter, Findlay’s lead grew to 37 points, 51-14.

This season, there was a rule change implemented on free-throw shooting. Once a team has committed five fouls in the quarter, the other team will begin taking two free throws, instead of the traditional one-and-one free-throw rule at seven fouls. Findlay capitalized at the free-throw line on Saturday.

“That first quarter, we got into foul trouble early,” Jenkins said. “At four minutes left in the first quarter, every single time we fouled, they were going to the line. I think that definitely changed a little bit of the dynamics and the flow of the game. I had to sub some girls out right away.”

In the first quarter, Findlay made 11 of 16 shots from the free-throw line. For the game, the Trojans were 14 of 22 from the charity stripe.

For the game, Elida was 8 of 22 from the free-throw line.

Findlay shot 44 percent from the field, while Elida connected on 26 percent of its field goal attempts.

Findlay committed seven turnovers for the game. Elida, after turning it over eight times in the first quarter, ended the night with 14 turnovers.

“I do think they kept the turnovers a lot lower than what I thought, with that kind of pressure Findlay was giving,” Jenkins said.

Findlay coach Brian Rosendale wanted his team to push the pace Saturday, especially early on.

“We want to work on getting out to a fast start. The last two or three years, we were always getting off to a slow start. The girls did a nice job of getting out and pushing the ball. We also ran our zone offense pretty well. We got some good looks,” Rosendale said.

Jenkins realizes that it will take some time to rebuild the chemistry.

“We lost four seniors – three that played a lot of varsity. They were pivotal spots – a point guard, the forward spots and a shooting guard,” Jenkins said. “We don’t have many outside shooters on this team, right now. So, we have to be able to drive, get to the bucket and knock down our free throws.”

Findlay 57, Elida 25


Aleksyss Arredondo 11, Ali Cox 3, Zoe McCormick 4, Katelyn Stechschulte 11, Madilyn Stechschulte 14, Olivia Mangas 7, Sophia Myers 7. Totals: 19-14-57.


Jojo Knight 5, Jordan Gladen 3, Lilly Sifrit 6, Alexis Ward 2, Oliveah Sanders 5, Emma Mitchell 4. Totals: 9-8-27.

3-pointers made: Findlay – Aleksyss Arrendondo 2, Ali Cox 1, Katelyn Stechschulte 1, Olivia Mangas 1; Elida – Oliveah Sanders 1

Records: Findlay 1-0; Elida 0-1