BEAVERCREEK — After an emotional win over league rival Wayne earlier in the week, Beavercreek girls basketball coach Ed Zink was worried about a letdown against upstart Fairborn Dec. 8.
Not even close.
The Beavers opened the game on a 14-0 run and allowed just six first-half points en route to a 68-36 win over the Skyhawks in Greater Western Ohio Conference action. It was vintage Beavercreek basketball as the Beavers (3-2 overall, 2-0 GWOC National East) were in shut-down mode defensively, converting 14 first-half Fairborn turnovers into easy fastbreak baskets.
“Defensively, we couldn’t have played a whole lot better,” Zink said.
Fairborn’s Aria Cole broke the shutout with a 3-pointer to make it 14-3 with 2:35 left in the opening, but Kirsten Williams made back-to-back buckets including a 3-pointer and Maci Rhoades made a 3-pointer for a 22-3 lead. Fairborn managed just three points in the second quarter, going the first 5:30 scoreless.
That was more than enough for Beavercreek, which forced 20 turnovers, had 15 steals and limited Fairborn to 32 percent shooting. Beavercreek, meanwhile, made 53 percent of its shots, 50 percent from 3-point range, and turned the ball over just 12 times.
It was exactly what the Beavers needed for success.
“We’re not real big,” Zink said. “We’ve got to defend and shoot the ball well and not turn it over.”
Check, check and check.
In their previous two games, the Beavers committed 48 turnovers and shot 33 percent.
“We have gotten better over the last few games,” Zink said. “We should. We are so young.”
Alyssa Hall led all scorers with 16 points, while Anna Landing added 15, Williams eight, and Maggie Holstein seven. Khala Powell and Evelyn Oktavec had 10 each for Fairborn (3-2, 2-1 GWOC American South), which had 21 fast-break sparking turnovers.
”We didn’t get back on defense,” Fairborn Coach Jim Cole said. “Gave them easy buckets. I understand a little bit about Beavercreek. I think the Beavercreek mystique got to them.”
Oktavec scored all of her points in the second half after Fairborn made a few halftime adjustments and nearly matched the Beavers point for point.
”I think we fought back better in the second half,” Cole said. “We were able to attack the middle of their zone. I think that one came down to heart and execution. We didn’t have a lot of that today.”
At 3-2, Fairborn is still in position for a good season. The Skyhawks lost six of their first eight games last season and their first five the season before that.
“We’ve got to be more competitive,” Cole said. “I expect us to get better.”
Maci Rhoades (six points), Tiernan McKitrick (five), Morgan Rhoades and Taylor Steinbrunner (four), and Trinity Bean three rounded out the scoring for the Beavers. Cole finished with eight, Jodi Austin six and Natalie Oktavec two for Fairborn.
Fairborn hosts West Carrollton at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, while Beavercreek is at Lebanon the same day.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.