ENON — Cedarville High School girls basketball coach Josh Mason wasn’t the least bit surprised with the way Maggie Coe played Jan. 27.
“I know she’s able to make a big play at any point in time,” Mason said.
The Cedarville junior did just that.
After seeing a comfortable lead dwindle to seven late in the second quarter, Coe drained a third-chance three-point shot, and then 20 seconds later made a layup after scrappy loose-ball play by Ise Bolender, to increase the lead back to double digits, leading to a 67-53 win that wasn’t as close as the score indicates.
Coe finished with a game-high 27 points and Bolender added 21 as the Indians improved to 14-4 overall and 12-1 in the Ohio Heritage Conference.
“My teammates are great,” Coe said. “They trust me a lot to be able to make plays. Ise made a great play to get me the ball.”
Coe’s heady play sparked the Indians to a 34-13 halftime lead that reached 51-33 after three quarters before Greenon (7-8, 6-5 OHC) made a late run to cut into the score.
But the Knights were in too deep of a hole, mostly due to the Cedarville defense — a collective unsung hero of the game. The Indians forced eight early turnovers in jumping out to a quick 9-0 lead, forcing a 30-second timeout by Greenon. Cedarville forced five more in the third quarter in essentially icing the game.
“We knew our defense would set the tone,” Mason said.
When they weren’t forcing turnovers, the Indians were still active defensively, making Greenon work hard just to get shots up. Very few were uncontested.
“We are amazing defensively,” Coe said. “That’s one of the things we take a lot of pride in. We never stop working on defense. We just grind.”
During their four-game winning streak, the Indians have allowed 42 points per game and have allowed 50 or more just four times the entire season.
“That’s something the girls buy into,” Mason said. “When you have girls that buy into getting stops, they’re easy to coach.”
Mason really didn’t have to do too much coaching in this game. After jumping out to the 9-0 lead — which included a jumper by Celeste Rucker, and a three-pointer and layup by Sammi Beuttell — a long three-pointer by Bolender and a pull-up jumper from Coe made it 14-2 with two minutes left in the first. Greenon scored six straight, before a bucket and then two free throws from Coe made it 18-8 with six minutes left in the first half. Greenon then cut Cedarville’s lead to 18-11 two minutes later, setting up Coe for her big plays.
She then hit another three off a fantastic pass from Rucker with 2:24 left in the half to increase the lead to 26-12, and then Bolender scored six straight in a little more than a minute to make the score 32-12. Following a free throw from Greenon’s Kylee Gmura with 39.7 seconds left, freshman Elly Coe scored off a loose-ball scrum with 1 second left to give the Indians a 34-13 lead.
The lead never dipped under 15 points until the final three minutes of the game.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.