By Scott Halasz
BEAVERCREEK — Alexa Low held a block party Saturday inside Ed Zink Fieldhouse.
The guest of honor? The Lebanon offense.
The 6-foot-2 senior swatted eight shots and altered several others with her mere presence in the paint as the Beavers improved to 7-0 with a 57-30 win.
Low also scored eight points and had a couple steals in an all-around solid effort for the Beavers, off to their best start since going 8-0 to begin the 2007-08 season.
“I was just trying to protect the basket,” Low said. “They were coming after us. They were trying different things.”
Low had four blocks early as Beavercreek jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead with 3:08 left in the first quarter. Lebanon missed seven shots during that time — only three made it near the rim.
“She did a great job,” Coach Zink said of Low. “She covered up for a couple times we got beat on the drive. She’s been playing well defensively for us.”
Low’s effort inside sparked the entire Beavercreek defense in the first half as it allowed just seven points on a pair of baskets and three free-throws. The Beavers forced 15 turnovers and led 31-7 at halftime.
“First half defensively I thought we did a great job,” Coach Ed Zink said.
Lebanon (3-4) cut the lead to 17 points a couple times in the second half, but the Beavers — who lacked that first-half defensive effort — were never really threatened.
“We played with no intensity the second half,” Zink said. “Maybe we got complacent because we were up like that. We weren’t pressuring the ball. We weren’t rebounding.”
Despite that, the Beavers limited Lebanon to 10-of-40 shooting and forced 26 turnovers.
Maddi Shannon led all scorers with 13 points, her third double-digit game this season. Kayla Shields and Keaira Youngblood chipped in nine each, while Braelyn Bean and Michaela Rhoades had six apiece. Lexi Moore had four and Jaelyn Bean two to round out the scoring.
It was another game where the Beavers had balance.
“That’s a nice thing,” Zink said. “We’re getting a bunch of kids who can score.”
The Beavers hosted Northmont, Monday.
Lebanon boys top ‘Creek
The Beavers are still searching for their first win, after a 54-36 loss to the Warriors. The game was a lot closer than the final score indicates. Beavercreek (0-5) led 28-24 midway through the third quarter and trailed just 34-32 going into the fourth.
But the Beavers went almost five minutes between points in the fourth quarter and the Warriors (3-2) used free throws and fast-break buckets to pull away.
“They came down and made some plays and got to the free-throw line,” Beavercreek coach Mark Hess said. “It snowballed quick. Things don’t go our way, they get bad quick.”
According to stats posted on the Greater Western Ohio Conference website, the Beavers made just 13 of 43 shots and turned the ball over 15 times. They did have 12 assists.
“We just couldn’t execute offensively,” Hess said. We weren’t real patient offensively.”
Beavercreek was solid defensively until Lebanon broke the game open.
“That’s our M.O.,” Hess said. “We’ve got to win on that end. I thought for three quarters we guarded real well. I thought we were pretty good in the half-court defensively.”
Jon Alessandro led Beavercreek with 12 points and nine rebounds, while Jackson Tedder added nine points
Lebanon led 9-6 after one quarter and 23-21 at halftime. A Tedder 3-pointer gave the Beavers a 28-24 lead with 6:11 left in the third and then after Lebanon took a 30-28 lead, a pair of baskets by Alec Otto gave the Beavers their last lead — 32-30 with 2:42 left in the third.
The Beavers are at 4-0 Centerville, Friday.