BEAVERCREEK — While Beavercreek showed signs of brilliance on offense and defense, the youthful Battlin’ Beavers just didn’t have the steady firepower to stay with a talented Wayne bunch, Wednesday night in the Ed Zink Fieldhouse.
Wayne enjoyed a late scoring burst to extend a 10-point lead into a 21-point win, 64-43.
In the second half, Beavercreek had battled back from a 12-point deficit, only to miss some gimme lay-ins or throw a shot harmlessly out of bounds.
Those lost opportunities weren’t lost on coach Ed Zink.
“That’s a good team. They’re athletic, and their pressure creates a lot of problems for us,” Zink said. “I don’t know how many of them that we missed, but we missed some lay-ups. In the second half, we were missing free throws. At one point (with 6:51 left to play), we have a chance to cut their lead down to four points, and we miss a wide-open lay-up. Then they get the rebound, go down and score.
“So instead of the lead being four points, it’s now eight.”
In the game’s final minutes, Zink then found himself in the unenviable position of deciding to try and put pressure on a Warriors team that’s very good at handling the ball.
“We’re down by 10 (47-37) and make the decision to either sit in our zone defense and get beat by 10 or 12 points, or do we try and go after them. … We’re not going to pressure them. At this point in the season, they’re just better at one-on-one basketball than we are,” he added.
The defensive switch in the final minutes turned a 10-point deficit into a 21-point win.
Maci Rhoades led Beavercreek (2-3) with 11 points, while Anna Landing finished with 10.
Wayne, now 3-0, came into Wednesday’s Greater Western Ohio Conference matchup beating opponents by almost a 19 points per game average. Warriors coach Travis Trice wasn’t particularly pleased with his team’s fundamentals, but said he’ll gladly take the league win on the road.
“At the end of the day, a 21-point win on the road, in a league game, at a tough place to play always, I’m really proud of the girls,” Trice said. “They hung in there, continued to fight, and found a way to get a big win.”
Wayne’s Bree Hall led all scorers with 23 points, while Alyssa Hargrove-Hall and Lovie Malone each scored 11 points, and Jaida Wolfork finished with nine.
Zink remained hopeful, despite the loss.
“I hate losing, but I’m not disappointed in the kids’ effort. That’s a very very good Wayne team. They’re probably as good as anybody around,” Zink said. “And we’ll have to play them again.”
Beavercreek has a week off before the Beavers will host the GWOC’s current first-place co-leader in the American division, undefeated Kettering Fairmont. That game is set for a 7:30 p.m. start on Wednesday, Dec. 11.
Wayne will see Fairmont before then. The Warriors will host Fairmont for a battle of undefeated division leaders on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. in Huber Heights.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.