By Scott Halasz
HUBER HEIGHTS — Lack of rebounding and too many turnovers led to the first loss for the Beavercreek girls basketball team, Saturday at Wayne High School.
Destiny Bohanon grabbed 18 offensive rebounds and scored 13 points, while Shai McGruder grabbed five misses and scored 16 points to lead Wayne to a 51-44 upset over the Beavers in Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division action.
Beavercreek fell behind early and trailed by as many as 16 points in the second half before making a furious run in the fourth quarter.
Wayne had 28 offensive rebounds compared to nine for the Beavers. Many of those Warrior caroms led to second-chance points. Wayne also converted on a bevy of BHS miscues handling the ball.
“Turnovers and offensive rebounding killed us,” Beavercreek coach Ed Zink said. “We seemed to play scared the first half and I don’t know why. (Wayne) just seemed to want it more.”
McGruder was the catalyst for the Warriors (7-1, 1-0). The 6-foot-2 sophomore scored 12 of Wayne’s first 14 points as the Warriors jumped out to a 17-11 lead after one quarter and maintained a comfortable lead throughout.
McGruder — who picked up her second foul with 24 seconds left in the first — gave Wayne a 29-17 lead with 1:04 left in the first half after a steal. During a subsequent timeout, Zink implored his team to take the ball inside and stop shooting 3-pointers in an effort to draw more fouls on McGruder.
She didn’t pick up her third foul until there was 1:17 left in the third. McGruder got her fourth foul with 4:57 left in the game, which allowed Beavercreek to drive to the basket more and cut into the lead, which was 37-21 early in the third quarter.
Alexa Low made a bucket and then Kayla Shields scored on a fast break and a rebound-putback to cut it to 37-25. Former Beavercreek player Maya Dunson sank a jumper to increase the lead to 39-25 with three minutes left. Cori Dilsavor hit a 3-pointer and Lexi Moore scored with 2:22 left to cut it to nine and after a Wayne basket, Keaira Youngblood hit two free throws to cut it to 41-32 with 1:17 left.
Wayne increased the lead to double digits 30 seconds into the fourth and then a Dunson rebound basket gave Wayne what appeared to be a comfortable lead, 45-32 with 7:03 left. But Shields and Youngblood scored and then Jaelyn Bean made a pair of free throws before a Shields basket cut it to 45-40 with 4:08 left.
Following a Wayne basket, Shields and Youngblood each made two free throws to make it 47-45 with 1:47 left. The Beavers had the ball but couldn’t score and then Wayne iced the win with four free throws down the stretch.
“I thought our kids came back and played better,” Zink said. “They didn’t quit. They came back.”
Shields led the Beavers with 13 points and 11 rebounds while Youngblood came off the bench for nine points, four rebounds and three steals. Low chipped in eight points and five rebounds for Beavercreek (8-1, 1-1).
Beavercreek played at undefeated Bellbrook, Monday night.