BELLBROOK — Beavercreek coach Ed Zink managed to smile when he talked about the defense his team played Friday night in a season opening girls high school basketball game against host Bellbrook.
”Usually, when you hold an opponent to 34 points, you’re going to assume that your team can score 35,” he said.
They didn’t, and Bellbrook held on for a 34-30 win, Nov. 22, at Bellbrook High.
Bellbrook (1-0) got scores from Brooklyn Hall and Kelley Griffin to start the final quarter of play, then Kayla Paul hit a pair of free throws to give the Golden Eagles a 30-18 lead. The two sides traded scores, then Beavercreek went on a 10-0 scoring run to pull within two points at 30-28.
Bailey Zerby hit a pair of free throws with 1:09 left in the contest to give Bellbrook some breathing room, and Dreann Pryce assured the Golden Eagles of their season opening win with two more free throws with 11.8 seconds left in the game for the final margin.
Pryce and Zerby almost got into double-figure scoring. Both finished with nine points to lead Bellbrook.
“I think it’s been a couple years since we’ve opened up a season 1-and-0,” Bellbrook coach Jason Tincher said. “Urban Meyer once said ‘The good thing about being 1-and-0 is that you have a chance at becoming 2-and-0.’ I don’t even think we went 1-0 when we went to state, so this is a nice start for us.”
Last season, the Golden Eagles lost four of their first five games — including the opener.
During the 2017-‘18 State Final Four run, Bellbrook actually did start out with a win. They beat Eaton on the road, 74-27.
With seven of the 12 players on his roster listed as sophomores or freshmen, Beavercreek’s Zink knows points may be hard to come by, at least in the early going of this season.
“We’ve lost a few kids on our team due to this our that, and we really only have four kids — Tiernan (McKitrick), Amber (Landing), Trinity (Bean) and Maci (Rhoades) — who have any varsity experience,” Zink said. “Offensively, we’re going to have trouble scoring. But defensively, we did a great job tonight.”
Rhoades led all scorers with 14 points, Bean finished with seven points and Landing scored five. The rest of the team accounted for four points.
Zink said his team will spend some time working on free throws as well. Beavercreek was uncharacteristically cold from the charity stripe, converting just three of 11 opportunities.
Bellbrook doesn’t have much time to celebrate its win. They host Oakwood at 1:15 p.m. Saturday.
Beavercreek (0-1) can’t necessarily regroup right away, either. The Beavers hit the road on Saturday for a 2:30 p.m. contest at Tipp City Tippecanoe.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.