By RYAN HINES
On Monday night, it seemed that Celina couldn’t throw
the ball in the ocean shooting just 6-for-44 in a loss to Marion
Celina returned home and shot the ball much better on Thursday
(18-of-38), but the Green and White couldn’t protect the
basketball and lost to Elida, 63-50.
Elida’s aggressive fullcourt defensive pressure caused
fits for Celina all evening and harassed the home team into
committing 28 turnovers for the contest.
Celina (9-5, 2-3 WBL) dug itself a hole early falling behind
20-13 after the first quarter of action, due mostly to Elida
(9-3, 3-2 WBL) taking advantage of 12 forced turnovers in the
first eight minutes.
“I thought that our kids were ready for their press but
obviously we weren’t,” said disappointed Celina
head coach Jack Clouse. “To me, if you have your basics,
a press isn’t going to bother you but we didn’t
do a good job on the basics and that gave them a lead. We aren’t
a physically strong team and anytime that there’s a bump,
we can’t handle it and it really hurt us tonight. You
can’t give up 63 points and win a ball game.”
“Our kids came out with a lot of intensity to start the
game and that allowed our defense to pressure the ball and that
created offensive opportunities for us,” said Elida head
coach Sue Skinner. “I think that it really set the tone
for the whole game. Our kids must have been really focused tonight
because they sure came ready to play.”
Jenna Schleucher, who got her first start of the season against
Elida, nearly kept Celina in the game alone in the first half
scoring eight points and pulling down six rebounds.
Facing an eight-point deficit entering the second half, Celina
began to make its move in the third quarter.
Kara Osterfeld made two free throws and Schleucher converted
on a three-point play to pull Celina to within three points
with Elida still on top, 37-34.
Elida pushed the lead back up to seven points, but Kelli Williams
hit back-to-back buckets to pull Celina back within three points
at 41-38. Another two points by Schleucher and a free throw
from Kelly Warris left Celina with a four-point deficit entering
the final period.
With 6:00 to go in the game, Williams drilled a deep three-pointer
from the corner and was clearly fouled on the play sending the
senior to the floor but the officials didn’t blow the
whistle leaving Celina down one-point.
Another obvious foul call was missed by the inconsistent officiating
duo resulting in a Celina turnover and according to Clouse,
was a turning point in the game.
“We had the game down to one point but we didn’t
get a foul call and they instead called traveling and that was
a big possession,” admitted Clouse. “That, to me,
was the difference in the ballgame.”
From that point on, Elida took control of the game with a near
perfect performance at the free-throw line.
From the 2:15 mark in the fourth quarter until the final buzzer
sounded, Elida hit 12-of-12 from the charity stripe and converted
21-of-24 for the game. Elida’s Elise Jenkins and Carla
Warren each hit four down the stretch to seal the win for the
Mallory Rentz was a perfect eight-of-eight from the free-throw
line to lead Elida with 16 points while Carla Warren hit for
14 points while teammates Amanda Suever and Jenkins added 12
“Seeing the balance that we got tonight was exciting for
me because balance like that is huge when the tournament comes
around,” said Skinner. “The best teams that we’ve
had at Elida have been teams with balanced scoring.”
Celina was led by Kara Osterfeld with a game-high 17 points
while Williams added 15 points and Schleucher 14 markers. Despite
standing just 5-6, Schleucher also led all rebounders with seven
“Jenna hit the board really well and kept us close in
the first half and she did a lot of things to help our team
on the floor,” pointed out Clouse.
Celina is back in action again on Thursday against Bath.