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01-03-04: Bulldogs able to pull away for win


ELIDA — At the start, it seemed to be the Friday afternoon holiday tilt between Coldwater and Elida would be a closely battled game.
Then the horn sounded to start the second quarter.
The Bulldogs went on a 13-3 tear to start the quarter and pulled away from a 12-10 first quarter lead to beat the Cavaliers 60-39 at the Elida Fieldhouse.
The Cavaliers drop to 2-7 on the season as Elida rebounds from Monday’s loss to Minster in the Vicki Mauk Classic to finish the first half of the season 8-2.
Both teams stayed very close in the first eight minutes of action. Elida scored the first four points but Coldwater countered with four straight to force the first of four ties in the period. Both the Bulldogs and Cavaliers were forced into some turnovers that kept the game close.
In the second period, however, Elida racheted up the defense. Using a full-court press, the Bulldogs began to get some steals deep into Cavalier territory, making for some easy layups. The Bulldogs forced 11 of the Cavaliers’ 13 first-half turnovers in the first half.
“I think our kids worked hard the last couple of days in practice,” said Elida coach Sue Skinner. “It showed defensively today. One of the big things was that no matter who I had in there, they knew where they were supposed to be.”
“We’ve been striving to play four quarters of basketball,” said Coldwater coach Nick Fisher. “We’ve done that all year — We’ll play two quarters or three quarters . I don’t think it’s a lack of effort or intensity for the girls, we just don’t play real smart for a quarter. I thought we played that first quarter pretty solid.
“Give Elida credit. They come at you and stay after you. We got caught up in that. We talked about that at halftime.”
With most of Elida’s shots coming on the layup or other close gimmes, the shooting percent was high. Elida shot 72.7 percent (16-of-22) in the first half before cooling off to a still impressive 55.3 percent (26-of-27) in the contest.
“When they’re on, they’re on,” said Skinner. “They really get after it.”
Both teams were able to get their benches plenty of playing time throughout the game. Seven of Elida’s eight players scored at least two points while Coldwater placed nine of 10 in the scorebook.
Mallory Rentz paced the Bulldogs with 21 points, many coming off Coldwater turnovers. Emily Warren came off the bench to add 11 points and seven rebounds.
Coldwater had no player score more than six points. Renee Hemmelgarn and Katie Homan each had six with Betsy Homan adding five. Five players had four points each for Coldwater.
The Cavaliers return to action when the Midwest Athletic Conference resumes play on Thursday. Coldwater heads to Ranger Gymnasium to face New Knoxville. Elida heads to the other side of Lima on Thursday to play rival Bath in a Western Buckeye League showdown.


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