By MARC TOBIAS
LIMA — Coldwater used a hot start in non-league action
Saturday night to post a 51-36 victory over winless Lima Bath.
The Cavaliers jumped on top of the Wildcats 7-0, and led 23-3
early in the second quarter.
Jay Miller was a major contributor to Coldwater’s blazing
start, as the senior forward connected on his first five shots.
Miller finished by leading all scorers with 15 points on six-of-seven
shooting, including three-of-three from the foul line.
He also grabbed six offensive rebounds and along with junior
Brent Robbins, Coldwater dominated the inside play for the majority
of the night.
“It wasn’t just Jay, but he sticks out because he
had a lot of offensive rebounds, and a lot of points, but there
are some other kids like Brent Robbins and Brandon Bettinger,
Chad Miller and Craig Koesters to a certain extent that hit
the boards hard,” said Coldwater coach Don Vogt.
The Cavs big men were able to make solid interior passes, and
that helped Robbins finish with eight points and four boards.
Koesters added eight points and five rebounds for Coldwater.
The major key to Coldwater’s victory was its swarming
defense. The Cavaliers forced 18 Bath turnovers and 40 percent
“I think their pressure was pretty good, when you play
with the young guards that we have and with nine out of our
10 players having not been through the wars it’s tough,”
said first-year Bath coach Al Thomas. “Ninety percent
of offense is being in the right spot, and I think the inexperience
with our guards confuses us. In the second half we started to
get in the right spots.”
Bath particularly struggled with Coldwater’s half-court
Craig Wellman and Jeff Grieshop both started the second quarter
with steals out of those defensive sets, and both took those
steals for layups that pushed the Cavs lead to 20-3.
“A lot of times we tell our kids that defense creates
offense, and tonight I think that certainly held true,”
Vogt said. “The kids in the traps played hard, and I was
impressed by the rotation on the back side where they would
take away the next pass. That’s something they haven’t
done a whole lot of, we get up and trap, but not to that degree.
What really helped that out was the intensity the kids brought.
You can play any defense in the world you want, but if the kids
don’t bring intensity to the table then none of them work.
Tonight they brought the intensity and made the defense work
Bath battled back in the second half, and its 2-3 zone helped
the Wildcats crawl within 12 points midway in the fourth quarter.
Coldwater answered with patience on offense, and with Bath trailing
it was forced to play man-to-man and that’s when the Cavs
“When you get down 23-3 and you’re playing zone
they can just pass it around, so we figured we had to switch
it up a little bit,” Thomas said. “We’re in
a beginning phase of a basketball program, we don’t have
a lot of things in, but we’re going on the philosophy
that we’ll be a man-to-man defense in 2-5 years.”
Two free throw’s by Miller and Alex Hoyng put Coldwater
back on top 50-34 to help ice the game.
Coldwater improves to 3-2 while Bath falls to 0-6.