SPENCERVILLE, OH – It took a total team effort and almost all four quarters, but the Spencerville Bearcats kept their record perfect on the young season as they defeated visiting Elida 43-32.
Early in the first quarter behind a strong opening period from 6’4 junior post Alex Carter, the Bearcats jumped out to a 7-0 lead in their home gym. With 1:12 left in the stanza Elida found themselves on the scoreboard for the first time when their leading scorer Shyah Wheeler connected on a two point basket to cut the lead to 7-2.
Nelaya Burden who would lead all scorers with 16 points on the evening for Spencerville totaled 5 of her first half 7 points in the second quarter, but it was again Wheeler who would help lead the visitors back and ultimately into the lead. With 1:23 left in the opening half of play the 5’10 senior connected on a three pointer to put Elida on top 16-14. Three pointers by Hayleigh Bacome and Cienna Kuhn helped to give Elida an 18-17 halftime advantage.
One of the games biggest stories began to come together in the second half of play as each team would see their leading scorers and defenders be given extended time on the bench due to foul trouble.
A free throw to complete an and one opportunity for Burden gave Spencerville a 19-18 lead early in the period and helped to lead her squad to a 10-7 quarter and a two point lead at the third quarter stoppage.
With foul trouble beginning to deeply plague both squads, each team would get to show their skills at the free throw line. For their part the Bearcats were able to connect on 9 of 11 from the charity stripe to help secure their victory.
Jayden Smith led the home team from the stripe and on the floor in the final period as she ended the contest by hitting a key three pointer and 5/6 from the line for 10 points.
Shyah Wheeler led the Elida attack with 11 points, 3.5 under her average through the opening pair of games. The Bulldogs see their season record fall to 1-2 overall and will begin Western Buckeye League play on Thursday night when they play host to defending conference winner Ottawa Glandorf.
Spencerville sees their record move to 2-0 and will travel to Paulding for the start of Northwest Conference play on Thursday night before again hitting the road on Monday night to take on Lima Central Catholic in non-league action.
Kaiden Grigsby 4
Jenna Henline 3
Abbygayle Satterfield 3
Jayden Smith 10
Melanie Keonig 2
Nelaya Burden 16
Alex Carter 5
3’s: 3 (Grigsby, Smith, Henline)
Hayleigh Bacome 9
Cienna Kuhn 7
Shyah Wheeler 11
Amiah Jones 3
Alissa Cuffy 2
3’s: 3 (Bacome, Kuhn, Wheeler)
JV: Elida 36-27