January 30, 2020 — Bulldog Sports Round-Up
- Published: January 30, 2020
Passing strategy pays off for girls varsity
By Philip Diamond
After a tough loss at Cedarville on Wednesday, Jan. 22, the powerful 11–4 YSHS women’s basketball team returned to home court the next evening looking for redemption.
Their adversaries were the Eagles of Middletown Christian School, whom Yellow Springs had bested 44–26 just 10 days earlier. Having already played them, the Bulldogs were more familiar with the Eagles’ style of play, giving Yellow Springs a key tactical advantage. However, the game against MCS was their second in two days, raising questions about whether the Bulldogs would have enough stamina to play efficiently the entire game. They were helped in this regard by the return of senior Tyler Linkhart, whose 6-foot-tall frame added needed height, depth and rebounding ability to the Bulldogs’ roster.
The game started slowly as both teams struggled to find their rhythm. YS freshman Corinne Totty kicked off the scoring halfway through the first quarter with a three-pointer, and the teams traded baskets after that to finish the quarter tied 7–7. The Eagles effectively stymied YS leading scorer Angie Smith (who has a 21.1 point game average this season) in the quarter by ensuring that she was always “double-teamed,” or guarded by two opposing players rather than just one.
The Bulldogs effectively shrugged off their slow start, almost quadrupling their total points, from seven to 27, by the end of the second quarter. While double-teaming is an effective strategy to stop one strong player, it leaves another player open and unguarded. Smith utilized this fact by passing to open players rather than attempting to score through two opposing players. The statistics from the second quarter reflected how the Bulldogs shared the scoring, with Smith contributing four points and Linkhart and Totty scoring six and seven respectively.
Head coach Tim Minnich commended these efforts, commenting that “we’ve been working really hard to get more people involved in the game.” The Eagles were held to 10 points in the quarter, as YSHS took a commanding 27–17 lead going into halftime.
The third and fourth quarters saw the Bulldogs continue to put up shots and apply offensive pressure while also clamping down on defense. Minnich described how the Bulldogs adjusted in the second half after realizing the Eagles didn’t have much offensive mobility.
“We extended our defense a little bit so they couldn’t get easy [three-pointers] out,” the coach explained. “We wanted to force them to put the ball on the floor.”
MCS’s offense relied heavily on three-pointers, so by placing YS players farther away from the basket, coach Minnich made it more difficult for the Eagles to score.
The Bulldogs outscored the Eagles in each quarter of the second half, and the game concluded in a 56–39 victory. The 56 points were 11 more than YS’s average for the season, showing that their new strategy of increased passing paid off.
Corinne Totty had a breakout game, scoring 13 points on 4/13 shooting from the three-point line. Angie Smith also scored 13 and added a team-high seven assists. Tyler Linkhart dominated the rim, finishing with 13 rebounds to complement 10 points.
*Diamond is a YSHS senior interning with the News.
In other Bulldog sports—
Varsity boys suffer two home losses
The Bulldogs suffered a pair of losses at home games last week.
The boys varsity basketball team played Legacy Christian on Tuesday, Jan. 21, finshing 56–40 in Legacy’s favor.
Two freshman stood out in scoring. Eli Eyrich was the leading scorer with 14 points, followed by Jason Knemeyer with 11 points.
Eyrich also had seven rebounds and seven assists to lead the way in all three categories. Senior Romel Phillips contributed eight points in a overall respectable performance for the young team.
On Friday, Jan. 24, the bulldogs played Middletown Christian, losing 67-28. No stats were available at press deadline.
The Bulldogs were next scheduled to play at East Dayton Christian on Monday, Jan. 27. They’re back home against Dayton Christian on Friday night, Jan. 31.
—Philip Renfro, assistant coach
McKinney boys drop two away
The McKinney Middle School boys basketball team dropped two away games last week in contests against Spring Valley Academy and Middletown Christian.
In the Spring Valley game, Tuesday, Jan. 21, the two teams battled back and forth for three quarters at the SVA gym. The Bulldogs had the lead at the end of the third quarter, but the SVA Stallions put together a solid fourth-quarter effort, outscoring the Bulldogs 14–5 to put away a hard-fought 25-18 victory.
Landon Harris led Bulldog scoring on the evening with five points, while Isaac Grushon and Kaveeyon Wagner had four points each. Alex VanAusdal added three points, and Sam Miller added a basket as well.
On Thursday, Jan. 23, the Bulldogs traveled to Middletown to take on the division leaders, Middletown Christian School. The Eagles are a strong, tough team, and the Bulldogs showed great effort and improvement as they faced Middletown Christian for the second time this season, but still took a loss 47–28.
The Bulldogs were led in scoring by Miller, who had a season-high game with 12 points, scoring eight in the fourth quarter.
Kellen Scott and Grushon added four points each; and Harris and VanAusdal added three points each to the Bulldog total, while Brady Baker added two points.
The McKinney boys were looking to regroup in an away game against East Dayton Christian scheduled Monday, Jan. 27 — a double header with the high school boys varsity team playing after the middle school game.
McKinney girls show tenacious spirit
On Tuesday, Jan. 21, coach Allan Harris and the McKinney girls basketball team traveled to Centerville to take on the Spring Valley Academy Stallions.
Due to injuries and other losses, only eight players dressed and played in the game. One injured player, eighth grader Navaeh Smith, made the trip with her team and cheered on her teammates from the bench.
The Bulldogs played hard against their opponent, who had a deep bench (10 players) and a large and vocal home court crowd.
Starting for the Bulldogs were eighth graders Violet Babb and Audrey Stacey, and seventh graders Lacey Longshaw, Anna Smith and Adeline Zinger. The three other players who subbed in later were eighth grader Joslyn Herring and seventh graders Tiger Collins and Gini Meekin.
The game started off well for the Bulldogs with Longshaw winning the tip and giving them the first opportunity to score, but Zinger’s shot just missed. SVA scored two field goals, but then Stacey got an offensive rebound and put Bulldogs on the board with a shot just inside the free-throw line that was nothing but net.
The Bulldogs then capitalized on the swing in momentum as Longshaw stole the ball and drove the length of the court. Stacy again got the offensive rebound and passed to Babb, the pass was intercepted, but Babb quickly recovered and knocked the ball out of bounds as the SVA player began her fastbreak. This was indicative of Babb’s play for the night and a hallmark of her outstanding defensive play. Babb was so aggressive, she had picked up four fouls by half-time. She continued to play tenacious defense in the second half, and did not pick up any more fouls.
Two plays later, the Bulldogs applied their smothering full-court press. and Zinger made a steal and quickly passed to an open Babb. who put it in to tie the game at four all.
The Bulldogs pressed again, and Zinger got a steal again. This steal was most impressive. As she leapt to intercept the ball, she stopped it with one hand and, still airborne, passed to an open Babb. Babb’s shot did not fall this time, but this spectator stood in awe at the cat-like reflexes and supreme court awareness of the young Zinger. Yellow Springs got the ball back after SVS threw it out of bounds and proceeded to put on a clinic in offensive rebounding. Collins got the first one, and then Babb got the next two before SVA picked off a pass from Babb to Zinger.
SVA’s star center got the ball by the free-throw line and started driving for an almost certain layup, when Babb dashed in to stop her, and the two collided and both fell to the floor. Babb had picked up another foul, but had stopped an almost certain basket and showed no fear stepping in front of an opponent who was at least six inches taller than she.
A couple possessions later, the SVA center broke free on the right baseline and made a 10-foot shot with 28 seconds left in the first quarter to put SVA ahead 6–4.
On the next possession, SVA stole the ball with time running out, but Longshaw quickly stole the ball back and fired a long three-pointer, but came up a little short as time ran out.
SVA got the ball to start off the second quarter and quickly fired up a three-pointer, but Herring was in good position and got the rebound. Longshaw drove to the basket, but was called for an offensive foul. SVA shot another three-pointer, and Smith came up with the rebound. Longshaw shot and missed, and SVA started a fast break. Babb raced down the floor and went for the steal as the SVA player drove into the key. She didn’t get the ball, but the SVA player was knocked to the floor as Babb again stopped an almost certain layup (and before the player began to shoot). Babb had picked up her third foul with 4:59 left in the first half. Coach Harris then subbed Stacy in for Babb.
SVA inbounded the ball and after a couple missed shots, scored a long two-pointer with a bank shot to pull ahead 8–4. The Bulldogs and Stallions then traded several possessions with neither scoring. SVA’s center was driving on a break away fast break as time was running out, but lost the ball out of bounds as the buzzer sounded ending the first half. SVA led 8–4.
Out of 11 shots taken by YS in the third quarter, only a sharp-looking eight-foot jumper from Zinger went in. Meanwhile, SVA was four of 10 from the floor, and one for two at the line, and pulled ahead 17–6. Toward the end of the quarter, Longshaw had a huge block. She closed fast on the unsuspecting shooter and swatted the ball so hard that it hit the wall 10 feet away at the same height at which she blocked it.
The Bulldogs also played great defense on the last possession of the quarter, as the Stallions were unable to get a shot off before the buzzer sounded.
Zinger started off the fourth quarter with a bang as she sunk a three-pointer to pull the Bulldogs to within eight points. Babb and Zinger each made a field goal, and Longshaw made one free throw. Babb and Longshaw were huge on the offensive boards as Babb had five in the quarter and Longshaw had four.
Coach Harris started subbing with 1:02 to go. For defense, he put Meekin and Stacey in, for offense, Babb and Herring. They subbed in and out six times before the buzzer sounded. This strategy was instrumental in holding SVA scoreless and allowing the Bulldogs to close the gap, scoring more points in the final quarter than they had in the first three, but nevertheless, they came up three points short.
The final score was 17–14. The Bulldogs out-rebounded the Stallions, 29–26, were five of 41 in field goal attempts, made one of two free throws and were one out of 17 behind the arc. Their tenacious defense resulted in eight steals.
On Thursday, Jan. 23, the McKinney girls hosted the Middletown Christian Eagles at home. Starting for the Bulldogs were eighth graders Herring, Babb and Navaeh Smith and seventh graders Longshaw and Anna Smith. This was Navaeh Smith’s first game since Jan. 2, when she was injured in a game at East Dayton Christian. Four other players subbed in later in the game: eighth graders Audrey Stacey and Chloe Bayard and seventh graders Meekin and Collins.
Longshaw won the opening tip against a taller opponent. The teams combined for a total of 10 shots before MTC scored first with a three-pointer. They scored twice again to take the lead 7–0, and that’s where the score remained at the end of the first quarter.
The Eagles scored again in the second quarter to go ahead 9–0, but then Longshaw put the Bulldogs on the board with a three-pointer. The Eagles scored twice again, then Anna Smith sunk a three-pointer to make the score 13–6. The next basket was by Herring. She pulled the Bulldogs to within five (13–8) and that’s where the score remained at half time.
The scoreboard incorrectly showed the score 13–7. At 3:03 remaining in the third quarter, the ball went out of bounds off YS, however the clock continued to run, and even when MTC’s coach pointed it out, the referees did nothing. Thirty-seven seconds elapsed before MTC in bounded the ball. MTC scored seven more points from the field and was up 20–8 when Longshaw got the rebound off Navaeh Smith’s missed free throw and scored while getting fouled. Longshaw sank her free throw to complete the three-point play and made the score 20–11. The third quarter ended with the same points.
After MTC put two more on the board at the start of the fourth quarter, Babb answered with a long two-pointer to make the score 22–13. Then Longshaw was fouled shooting and made both her free throws to make the score 24–16 with 1:04 to play.
MTC scored five unanswered points before the buzzer sounded for a final score of 29–16 in MTC’s favor.
Longshaw had a huge night on defense, pulling down half of the team’s 22 rebounds (Navaeh Smith had eight), eight of the team’s 13 steals and was a perfect three for three from the free-throw line.
Swimmers head for conference meet
The Yellow Springs High School swim team is heading into the championship part of its season with a squad of eight girls who have worked hard and grown stronger over the past several months.
The annual Coaches Classic meet on Saturday, Jan. 18, was a good prelude to what the rest of the season is going to look like. Although the girls team didn’t place, they swam really well overall, and are expected to take their progress into the Metro Buckeye Conference meet this weekend, Saturday. Feb. 1, in Trotwood.
Sectionals follow on Saturday, Feb. 8, at Mason High School; and the district meet is set for Friday, Feb. 14, at Miami University.
—Ashley Mangen, coach