CELINA – You couldn’t blame the Lady Tigers of Versailles if they overlooked the Lady Bulldogs of Celina Saturday afternoon.
Versailles had just experienced a come-from-behind conference win against No. 4 Division III state ranked Fort Recovery and an upcoming matchup with No. 1 ranked Division IV Midwest Athletic Conference opponent Minster on Thursday awaited the Tigers. Despite a sluggish start, Versailles took care of the task at hand and defeated Celina 62-17.
Versailles opened the contest without its usual offensive crispness and precision. The Tigers managed to score 13 in the quarter but seemed to not be working on all cylinders. The defense, however, was up to its usual level of effectiveness. The full-court press perplexed and confused Celina for most of the half.
The Lady Tigers did execute a nice interior passing game between sophomore Liz Ording and junior Danielle Winner to connect for close-in field goals in the second period. Coach Jacki Stonebraker continued to substitute freely as the defense allowed a single basket during the quarter. At the intermission, despite not playing its best basketball, Versailles held a 25-5 lead.
“You just play and have fun,” Coach Stonebraker said of her team’s focus for the game. “That’s what all games should be about … I felt like they played loose today.”
In the third quarter the offense hit its stride. It was now playing like the No. 3 ranked Division III team in the state. The Lady Tigers put up 24 points in the next eight minutes while the defense continued its tenacious play, allowing just 3. Versailles doused any hopes of a Celina comeback by taking a 49-8 lead after three stanzas on its way to the 62-17 victory.
Kami McEldowney and Danielle Winner each had 11 points and Emily Langenkamp contributed 10 for Versailles. The Lady Tigers are now 15-2 and 6-0 in the MAC.
Concerning the upcoming Minster game, Stonebraker said, “Both teams have put themselves in a nice position. Being undefeated in the MAC this late in the year is a tough challenge to do. Both teams have done a great job putting themselves in a great situation … Going to take some hard work and diligence. Going to have to play 32 minutes Thursday night.”