By Scott Halasz
BEAVERCREEK — After a pair of blowout wins to open the girls basketball season, the Beavercreek Beavers had a chance to see just how good they were, hosting Cincinnati power Mt. Notre Dame, Saturday.
“We learned we’ve got a ways to go,” coach Ed Zink said following the Beavers’ 60-47 loss.
Defense and shooting — parts of the game that plagued the Beavers often last year — were the main issues Saturday. Beavercreek made just 28 percent of its shots (16 of 57) and only 17 percent from 3-point range (4 of 23) after sizzling in season-opening wins over Xenia and Fairborn. The Beavers missed around half a dozen layups and several times had two and three chances from point-blank range.
“We didn’t finish,” Zink said. “First half especially, we missed some shots you’ve got to make.”
The 3-0 Cougars made 44 percent of their heaves with a bevy of shots in the paint. They also out-rebounded Beavercreek 40-27.
“They’re much more physical than we are,” Zink said. “They got the ball inside (and) they hurt us on the boards.”
It wasn’t all doom and gloom, especially this early in the season.
Twice the Beavers trailed by at least 16 points and both times they cut it to single digits before an MND scoring run ended the rally.
The first time, ‘Creek trailed 28-12 with 3:14 left in the first half, but an 11-2 run cut it to 30-23 at halftime. Junior guard Carmen Williams, in her first varsity season, ignited the comeback with a 3-pointer and a basket off a turnover. Junior Bailey Draughn added a pair of free throws and senior Keaira Youngblood and junior Lexi Moore each added a basket during the spurt.
The second comeback came in the fourth quarter after MND used a 19-9 third quarter to take a 49-32 lead. Williams hit her second 3-pointer of the game and then scored a bucket and free throw to cut it to 49-38. After MND increased the lead to 15, junior Cori Dilsavor made a pair of freebies and Williams made a layup after a teammate missed two during the same sequence. Moore followed with a 3-pointer to cut it to 54-45 with 3:14 left.
MND scored four straight before a Dilsavor drive and score with 2:10 left cut it to 11, but that was the final bucket the Beavers made.
“They didn’t quit,” Zink said. “I’ll give them credit for that. That’s a darn good basketball team and we played with them. It tells us we can be pretty darn good. We’ve got a few things we’ve got to clean up.”
Williams scored 16 points and had six steals, while Youngblood added 10 points for the 2-1 Beavers. Sophomore Gabbie Marshall scored 17 for the Cougars, while freshman Makira Cook added 13.
The Beavers visited 1-2 Lakota East, Monday night.