By GARY R. RASBERRY
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
“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.