BEAVERCREEK — The Beavercreek girls had a lot on their minds Thursday night. While not the final game of the season, they were celebrating Senior night, and the they have a game against Centerville, Saturday and the sectional tournament starts the week after that.
Still, the Lady Battlin’ Beavers pulled it together on an emotional night and beat Huber Heights Wayne in a Greater Western Conference matchup, 41-27.
Both teams began the game with a starting five full of seniors. Beavercreek (14-7, 6-3 GWOC Central) kept its five out there for the entire quarter, and led 7-2 after one.
“With the senior night we started all our seniors and I’ll tell you what, they did a nice job. …We were pretty small and they have a nice big kid in Palma and I thought they did a nice job on her,” said Beavercreek coach Ed Zink. “Some of them haven’t played that long of streaks, so we brought some of our other starters in and they were slow to get started and it was kind of a struggle in the first half.”
The shooting woes for Beavercreek and Wayne (7-11, 3-6 GWOC) continued into the second quarter and the score was only 15-8 at the half.
Senior guard Aubrey Zimmerman said that she was proud of how her team played, even though they started out slow. She finished with a team-high nine points in the game and six rebounds.
“I thought we did really well, especially since we subbed more to seniors. It was really fun to play,” she said. “I thought we came out way better in the second half than we did the first half. It was kind of low scoring, and we expected it to be a harder game, because they’re a pretty good team. So we all played well together and I’m proud of my team.”
Beavercreek’s outside attack put the game away in the second half. With around 30 seconds left in the third quarter, Maddi Shannon hit two threes in a row to make the score 30-14.
Wayne coach Sonya Miller talked about her team’s inability to stop shooters.
“We had a game plan, and I thought we went away from that. We were not poised at all with the ball,” she said. “We just let Beavercreek — and a lot of three point shooters — get to a great start. Once you start building confidence, it will just keep building from there. We weren’t closing on their shooters.”
The Lady Warriors have the second leading scorer in the GWOC in senior center Samantha Palma. Palma had a game-high 15 points and 10 rebounds on the night, but most of those points were from free throws. Beavercreek did a good job of mostly taking her out of the game.
Zink said that it’s hard to tell how things are going to end up on an emotional night like Senior night, but he’s happy with how they played and ready to move forward.
“All five of our seniors are great kids. They’re all kind of different in their own way, but they’re all neat in their own way. It’s always hard to say goodbye to your seniors, because you’ve known them for four years,” he said.
Zimmerman said that she’s just going to miss playing with them.
“We all get along really well. This is one of my favorite years to play, because everyone gets along really well and we have really good chemistry. We all joke around with each other and it’s just fun.”
The seniors are a really fun group, I’m going to miss all of them. It’s fun to have five girls, so we can all play together. Jacquie (Stedman) and Kiersten (St. Pierre) are both new and it was really nice meeting them this year. I’ve played with Jordan (Elliott) and Leah (Elliott) since we were in sixth grade, so I’m just sad not to play with them next year.”
They still have more games to play, and Beavercreek will host Centerville at 1 p.m. Saturday at Beavercreek High School.