XENIA — For the first 12 or so minutes of the first half, Monday’s Metro Buckeye Conference clash between Greene County foes Yellow Springs and host Legacy Christian looked like it would be a good battle.
Then the two teams played the half’s other five minutes.
With things all even at 18 apiece, Legacy Christian reeled off an 11-0 run to grab a 29-18 halftime lead. The Knights then extended that scoring binge with a 7-0 run to start the second half, for an eventual 50-33 win, Dec. 9 in the Legacy Christian gym.
Knights coach Mark Combs was concerned about how his veteran team would handle itself, playing without point guard Kathleen Ahner, who sat out Monday night’s game with a back injury. Maybe that was part of the trouble in the first half: the Knights were playing without their floor leader, and just needed some time to adjust.
“We were playing without Kathleen, and Tim (Yellow Springs coach Tim Minnich) is gonna do what Tim’s gotta do. He’s gonna take away your best player, and he’s going to make you play with some of your off kids. … these off kids, they started out slow, and missed shots. And we just talked about playing through that and playing through those misses.”
And they did.
Three Legacy Christian players finished in double-figure scoring, led by Emma Hess’s 20 points. “Off kid” Margaret Kensinger hit three 3-pointers as part of her 11-point output, and ‘other Off Kid’ Maddy Combs buried a couple threes of her own to finish with 10 points. The Knights outscored Yellow Springs by a 15-4 margin in that third quarter.
Yellow Springs coach Tim Minnich said his Bulldogs were playing shorthanded as well. Regular inside post player Tyler Linkhart is still recuperating from off-season surgery.
“Two things happened to us: We stopped running what we were supposed to be doing, on offense. We were doing these double-stagger screens and they were getting us open shots … and then we just stopped doing it,” Minnich said. “Then Mark changed defenses on us three times, and that just threw us off of our game as well. We’re missing our six-footer (Linkhart) until January. And our best player (Angie Smith) went 3-for-22 from the floor. If she gets her numbers normally, it’s a six- or eight-point game.
“I keep telling them, ‘We’ve gotta have three scorers.’ So we’re getting it. We’re making improvements each time we take the court.”
Smith, who came into the game leading the conference in scoring with an 23.3-point average, was limited to 11 points. She was contested by the Knights defense on most every shot. Aaliyah Longshaw also got into double-figures, finishing with 1o points.
According to the Metro Buckeye Conference website, Yellow Springs is now 4-1 overall, and 2-1 in MBC action. The Bulldogs are back on the court on Thursday, Dec. 12 when they play a 6:45 p.m. contest at Middletown Christian.
Legacy Christian didn’t have a recent game at Jefferson Township listed on their results page on the league website, but Monday’s win puts them unofficially at 2-2 overall, 1-0 in MBC play. The Knights also will hit the road for their next game. They play a 6:45 p.m. contest on Monday, Dec. 16 at Dayton Christian.
According to their schedule, Legacy won’t have another home game until next year. They have upcoming road contests with Dayton Christian, Troy Christian (Dec. 19), Yellow Springs (Dec. 30), Miami Valley (Jan. 4, 2020) and Middletown Christian (Jan. 6) before hosting Miami Valley on Jan. 9.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.