CENTERVILLE — If veteran Beavercreek girls basketball coach Ed Zink was looking for some kind of a barometer to tell whether or not his high school squad was battled tested, he might’ve got his answer on Dec. 16 against Greater Western Ohio Conference rival Centerville.
For the first time in eight seasons, Zink and his Beavercreek girls won on the Centerville Elks’ home court. The Beavers won 46-35 at CHS.
The contest became a battle of wits between Zink and Elks coach Adam Priefer, especially in the final quarter of play.
With 5:46 to go in the contest and the Beavers out in front 35-31, Priefer had his Elks jump into a 2-3 zone defense. Leading the game by four points, the Beavercreek players began a very methodical game of ‘Keep Away,’ where they continuously weaved about the court and passed the ball to each other. The Keep Away game continued until Centerville had committed its seventh foul of the half, which put Beavercreek to the foul line with each subsequent foul for the final two minutes of the game.
Beavercreek (6-3, 4-0 GWOC National East) hardly missed.
Carmen Williams, Lexi Moore, Michaela Rhoades and Cori Dilsavor hit a combined 10 of 12 free throws in the game’s final two minutes, and the Beavers defense limited Centerville to two points during that same span.
“Beating them here, that makes this a nice win for us,” Zink said. “We usually don’t play very well over here, but they have a lot to do with that. This is really nice to get this win. They’re a solid team, they play the game very well, have a nice defense and they’re good at taking you out of the things you’d like to do. We’ve always struggled offensively here, so this is big.”
Williams led Beavercreek with a game-high 19 points, Moore was the other player scoring in double figures. She finished with 13. Zink said he liked how his players handled the fourth quarter, and said they did a nice job running time off the clock.
“We weren’t looking to not shoot anything, but the kids did a nice job of running time off the clock. The next thing I know, they’d run a minute off, so we’re thinking ‘Okay, let’s keep going,’ I don’t think we took a shot in the fourth quarter. I know we didn’t in the last six minutes.
“We felt if we could get to the free throw line, we liked our chances. They had to foul us, and our kids did a great job of running time off the clock and not turning the ball over. And when they got fouled, they stepped up and hit their free throws.”
Not one Centerville player scored in double figures. Alexis Hutchinson came closest with nine points, but she was limited to three in the second half. Meghan Mattingly was the next highest Elks scorer with eight points. Centerville falls to 4-4 overall, 1-3 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s National East division.
The seniors were in fourth grade the last time Beavercreek had won a girls basketball game at Centerville. It happened on Feb. 11, 2010, a 54-47 win.
“I thought we competed and played hard. It came down to a lot of single possessions where we came up short,” Priefer said. “Trips down the floor where we didn’t get a rebound, or we didn’t finish a layup. Closing out and communicating. Those little things multiple times really compounded into a lot of mistakes for us.”
Beavercreek’s next game will be at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday Dec. 21 when they take on a very solid Springboro team (6-1) on the road. The Elks get back in action at 1 p.m. Saturday Dec. 23 when they play at Wayne.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.