YELLOW SPRINGS — Thursday night’s Dec. 14 girls high school basketball game was a lesson in senior leadership.
The Metro Buckeye Conference tussle between visiting Miami Valley and host Yellow Springs turned when a series of injuries knocked three Yellow Springs seniors out of the game. That’s right when Miami Valley senior Taylor Felder took over the game.
Felder scored 12 of her team- and game-high 14 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Rams to their first win of the season, 42-36.
“The real problem was that I lost three seniors in that game,” Yellow Springs coach Tim Minnich said. “One senior (Gracie Price) was out for a quarter and a half, another (DeDe Cheatom) looks like she broke her collarbone, and the third (Ayanna Madison) went out with a stomach issue. We were playing all freshman out there at one point.
“We had 27 turnovers, and shot 35 threes, and only made seven of them. You can’t win doing that.”
Price led Yellow Springs in scoring with a 14-point effort of her own, and Madison had scored eight points before her fourth-quarter exit. Another Bulldog senior, Amani Wagner, finished with seven points.
Miami Valley’s Felder took advantage of the depleted Bulldogs defense. In the fourth quarter and trailing 30-28 with 5:51 left to play, Felder went on a 12-0 scoring spree. Two steals, a pair of 3’s and a trio of lay-ins later, Miami Valley had the game’s first double-digit lead, 40-30, with 3:36 left to play.
“Steve (Roe) has them playing well. The Felder girl really took over the game. She got confident, and once a kid gets confident like that, good things can happen,” Minnich said.
To go with Felder’s 14, Mollie Lyon knocked in 10 points and her sister, Eva Lyon, was next with eight. Miami Valley is now 1-5 overall, 1-3 in the MBC. The Rams will go home and take on Troy Christian at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18 for their next contest.
“Most of our girls are first-year players, so I think it just took time for them to focus their minds, and now they’re starting to execute too,” Miami Valley’s Steve Roe said. “We started out the season where everybody was over-thinking everything. Now I think they’re all settling into their roles on this team. It showed tonight.
“Taylor Felder was the difference maker for us. She played a great second half.”
Minnich said he may have to take his lumps with an all-Freshman lineup for a few upcoming games, at least until his seniors can heal from their injuries. The Bulldogs travel to take on Cedarville in a non-league game at 6 p.m. Monday Dec. 18 for their next game.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.