BEAVERCREEK — A pair of wins against difficult opponents opened Beavercreek’s girls basketball season and gave the team an early confidence boost.
Maintaining that level throughout the rigors of a strenuous schedule may be an even tougher challenge to overcome.
Beavercreek got a small reprieve on Wednesday during a 54-41 win against Miamisburg, which currently sits in last place in the Greater Western Ohio Conference standings. The Vikings still poised a threat that head coach Aric Seilhamer didn’t want his players to overlook.
“[Ally] Turner can shoot it from half court and [Alley] Haas, they’re really good and have hurt us in the past,” Seilhamer said. “I think at the beginning we keyed on them too much and other players got stuck in space where we got burned on the drive in the first half, but we cleaned that up in the second half.”
No game in league play may provide an opportunity for Beavercreek to have an off-night from being at the top of its game, but the Beavers’ entire schedule isn’t allowing for one at all.
Starting the season off with a home game against Mason and a road trip to Tippecanoe, Beavercreek immediately announced itself as a team to beat by pulling out two wins against traditionally strong opponents.
GWOC play began after and didn’t make things easier when back-to-back games against league favorites Springboro and Centerville. Both turned into losses before Beavercreek bounced back with a close win against Wayne.
“I think we’ve had a very tough schedule and high expectations based on what we did last year,” Seilhamer said. “The lack of chemistry and continuity with all the kids on the floor as they’re trying to figure it out again with each other to let people fall into their roles.”
The lack of role defining within team has come from the the challenge it has faced of never knowing when it may have its full roster available. The season being more than a month old, injuries and illness have only allowed for two practices to be run when at full strength and several games missing players as well.
Getting to be a team may be how Beavercreek continues to win, and they’re already showing signs they will be fine continuing to do so with a senior-heavy group leading the way.
Charlotte Pauling, Lilli Leopard, and Liv Walther all average between eight and 11 points per game to lead the team, along with Larkyn Eysoldt. Mia Patterson is next in line, but her role of running the show has her as the team leader in assists and steals.
Beavercreek has multiple options to score from inside and beyond the arc. Maintaining consistency together is still a work in progress.
“We’re trying to find more steps in the right direction than backwards,” Seilhamer said. “Against good teams we can’t take too many steps backwards or else runs will get dried up, so consistency with both our confidence and our execution is needed.”
Good teams are seemingly all Beavercreek will continue to play for the foreseeable future. In addition to the remainder of the GWOC schedule, out of league trips are upcoming to Purcell Marian, ranked nationally by MaxPreps, as well as Mount Notre Dame and Carroll. Those are in addition to a home game against local rival Bellbrook.
Getting off to a good start and immediately gaining the boost in confidence from it got Beavercreek in good spirits early. Seilhamer felt that confidence may have been “shook” by the losses that followed.
Now back on the winning side of things, keeping level heads and avoiding future waves of a potential roller coaster ride to the finish line will be key to keeping confidence high.
“With that big win at Wayne the other day, I think it’s just getting the full confidence back in the mix for our consistency,” Seilhamer said. “I think we’re in the right direction, but we got Fairmont next week, then Mount Notre Dame and Purcell Marian and Springboro again, so it’s more games against, well, a gauntlet, but these kids want to play the best so they’ll play the best.”
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on X (formerly Twitter) @Steven_Wright_.