UNION CITY – Ansonia won its fourth consecutive game on Thursday, defeating rival Mississinawa Valley 55-39 in a Cross County Conference girls basketball game.
Thursday’s game was close early with Ansonia holding a one-point lead entering the second quarter, but in the second period the Tigers outscored the Blackhawks 16-5 to take a commanding lead that helped propel them to victory.
“Anytime you go on somebody else’s floor you want to get off to a good start, get the other team down and make them work harder to come back,” Ansonia coach Jim Bolin said.
Early on it was back and forth with six lead changes in the first eight minutes of the game. Ansonia was able to hold a 15-14 lead at the end of the period thanks in large part to Trinity Henderson, who scored 10 of her game-high 17 points in the opening quarter.
“I really don’t think they ever did hurt us inside at all, but give credit, they made some really nice shots with some hands in their faces,” Mississinawa Valley coach John Hershey said. “You can’t stop that really. Good shooting is good shooting.”
Mississinawa Valley went up 16-15 in the opening moments of the second quarter, but from there Ansonia went on a 16-3 run to close out the half with an 11-point advantage, 31-19.
“I thought the transition play was good,” Hershey said. “We were going up and down the floor real well. They were making shots, and we were missing them. Then they would come down and make a shot and then we’d miss. I think once it got just a little too far there then it was a little harder for us to play catch up. We just went through a cold streak right there. Three minutes where we just couldn’t hit anything. I think it just made the gap just a little too far.”
Ansonia led by at least 10 points throughout the entire second half. The Tigers led 43-30 through three quarters and extended their lead in the fourth quarter to win by 16, 55-39.
Ansonia has focused on fundamentals recently, Bolin said, which is paying off even though the Tigers still have room for more improvement.
“We can shoot the basketball, and the kids are starting to get a balanced scoring attack,” he said. “We still need to take care of our turnovers, not to have self-inflicted turnovers.”
Henderson led Ansonia with her 17 points. Also for the Tigers, Katie Werts scored 10 points, Ashton Bradham scored 9, Jailyn Thwaits scored 9, Bailey Stammen scored 8, Stefani Garrett scored 1, and Kassy Wentworth scored 1.
“We’re capable of having all five kids who start for us score in double figures,” Bolin said. “And that’s a key. We want to get there. I thought we could do that early in the season, but it’s just taking a little bit longer than I anticipated.”
Kelsie Hunt led Mississinawa Valley with 16 points. Also for the Hawks, Mikayla Stump scored 9 points, Madison Stachler scored 4, Lindsay Johns scored 3, Kylie Willis scored 3, Sidnie Hunt scored 2, and Kya Lavy scored 2.
“We get a lot of shots, and we get a lot of shots right inside,” Hershey said. “The offense is set up good. But we’ve got to make them. When you’re only 4 feet away, you must make those. That’s what’s killing us.”
Even though Hershey said the Hawks have to improve their shooting, he was pleased with the team’s effort.
“My girls got after it tonight,” he said. “I’m very, very happy with that. Shown more heart and desire to go get it. I’ve been trying to get that out of them for a long time so this was a good night.”
Ansonia improved to 5-5 overall and 2-1 in the CCC with Thursday’s win while Mississinawa fell to 1-5 overall and 0-3 in the CCC.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.