CENTERVILLE — It was a key matchup for the utlra-competitive Central division of the Greater Western Ohio Conference when third-place Beavercreek visited second-place Centerville Wednesday night at Centerville High School. It was a tough task for Beavercreek with the Lady Elks winning seven straight and nine of their last 10, and Centerville proved that the streak wasn’t luck.
Centerville (13-2, 4-1) is one of the toughest teams in the GWOC, especially at home, and they got out to a blistering start that was too much for Beavercreek (11-5, 3-2) to come back from, winning 66-37.
Beavercreek coach Ed Zink said his team was warned of Centerville’s hot starts.
“You know what, that’s what they do. I told our kids that the first quarter would be key, because when you look at a lot of their scores, they jump out first quarter 25-5, 25-4,” he said. “They just get out to great starts and they hit you with that press and they shoot the ball well and they’ve always done that. There’s no time you can just relax because they’re just all over you.”
Centerville senior Bethany Krause leads the GWOC in assists, but it was her scoring that shot the Elks out to a hot start. She hit two wide-open threes early, forcing Zink to call a quick timeout down 8-0 in the first quarter. Krause had 16 points, all in the first half. She hit six out of her seven field goals in the first half.
Another standout player for Centerville is the conference leader in points, junior center Shannon Coffee. She came into the game averaging 19.3 points and 7.5 rebounds, and helped the Elks get out to their hot start with 15 first half points, and 26 for the game. They led 25-8 after the first quarter and 45-14 at the half.
The Lady Elks scoring and pressure defense had Beavercreek worked up in the second half. They weren’t able to run their offense and they were taking poor shots, while Centerville was taking all the offensive boards.
“We wanted to be patient and not turn it over against their press which I thought we did pretty good job at that. When we got down to our end we took a couple of quick shots,” said Zink. “Things just snowballed in the first half. We weren’t patient, and they’re scoring all the time. The less possessions the better for us, and we just didn’t do that.”
“Their pressure forces you to do that. If you’re open all of a sudden, you just want to shoot it because you’re open.”
Beavercreek came out and looked like a much more determined squad in the second half. They moved the ball up the court and had much better ball movement. Zink said that part of that was because Centerville naturally let up a little with their big lead, but he said his team wanted to prove that they could play with the Elks.
“I think the kids felt bad about how poorly they played in the first half. They were determined to come out and play better, but also Centerville didn’t press quick as much,” he said. “But I was proud of our kids their in the second half. I thought we played better, I thought we played harder. That was our goal, we weren’t coming back to win the game, but we wanted to play with pride and not just give up”
Senior Aubrey Zimmerman, who was held scoreless in the first half, found her shot in the second half. She had eight points in the ball game. Sophomore forward Kayla Shields also had eight points in the game.
Beavercreek will have a lot of time to recoup from this loss. They don’t play again until next Wednesday when they face Northmont for a 7:30 p.m. game at Beavercreek High School.