By Scott Halasz
TROY — Inability to score plagued the Beavercreek girls basketball team at times during the season and that same issue led to a 63-46 loss to New Carlisle Tecumseh in a sectional final Friday.
After breaking Tecumseh’s vaunted full-court press with relative ease in the first half, the Beavers could not solve the Arrows’ switch to a half-court trap in the second half and managed just 10 points against the ball-hawking Arrows. The high-scoring Tecumseh team, meanwhile, feasted on lazy passes and turnovers in outscoring Beavercreek 17-3 in the third en route to a sectional title.
The Arrows improve to 22-3 and move on to a Division I district title game, most likely against nationally ranked West Chester Lakota West. Beavercreek ends the season with a 18-7 record.
“When you only score 10 points in a half you’re in trouble,” Beavercreeek Coach Ed Zink said. “We couldn’t have shot 10 percent in the second half. They changed presses. It took forever to score.”
Beavercreek turned the ball over on four of its first five second-half possessions and didn’t score for more than three minutes as Tecumseh turned a 36-34 halftime deficit into a 42-36 lead. A couple minutes later, the Beavers trailed 48-38 and could get closer than eight the rest of the way as the Arrows pulled away, leading 51-43 after three.
“And now we’re tight,” Zink said. “We stopped passing the ball and looking for people like we did he first half. We just panicked.”
The Beavers showed no panic in the first half, easily breaking through the press and finding the open player. The bulk of the 10 first-half turnovers came after the Beavers settled into the half-court or ran a successful press-breaking play.
“We go to attack …but our kids tried to avoid contact and travelled doing it,” Zink said.
‘Creek senior Kayla Shields scored 14 of her team-high 17 points in the first half, draining three 3-point shots, most of which were set up in transition. Senior Alexa Low and sophomore Cori Dilsavor added eight each for the Beavers — all in the first half.
“I thought we played very well the first half,” Zink said. “We handled their press pretty well. The second half they outplayed us, obviously.”
The bulk of the second-half damage was done by Tecumseh freshman Presley Griffitts, who scored nine of her 15 points in the third quarter and seemed to be under every missed shot. Senior Lindsey Nartker had game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Arrows.
Nartker kept Tecumseh close in the first quarter and then scored six straight in the second to give her team a 27-20 lead with 5:51 left in the half.
Dilsavor scored five straight, including draining a pull-up 3-pointer and then minutes later Youngblood scored four straight followed by a Lexi Moore rebound bucket the give Beavercreek a 31-29 lead with 3:40 left. Griffitts tied it with a rebound bucket and then Nartker made two free throws to give Tecumseh a 33-31 lead. Youngblood tied it with two free throws and then Dilsavor made another 3-pointer with 20 seconds left. Tecumseh freshman Allison Berner made one free throw to make it 36-34 at the half.
Tecumseh senior Danielle Franklin scored four of her 13 during Tecumseh’s quick third-quarter spurt.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.