ANSONIA – The Ansonia girls basketball team struggled in its season opener on Tuesday, falling 70-34 to South Adams.
Girls basketball teams in Indiana were able to begin the season in October while Ohio teams had to wait until this past weekend so South Adams entered Tuesday’s matchup with a lot more playing time than Ansonia. The disparity in experience combined with the talent of the Starfires proved to be too much for the Tigers to handle.
“Way, way too many turnovers,” Ansonia coach Jim Bolin said. “I haven’t saw the stat sheet, but I know we had 30 or more probably. I knew it was going to be a tough game coming in. They’re state ranked, they’ve got six games in, and we don’t have any. That’s no excuse. We just played real sloppy. We’re young, and we just didn’t play very good taking care of the basketball.”
South Adams led throughout Tuesday’s game as the Starfires quickly jumped out to a 7-0 lead. Senior captains Lexi Dellinger, Sydney Pierce and Madi Wurster led the charge for South Adams while Ansonia was limited to 6 points from Millie Widener and Katie Werts in the opening period as the Tigers found themselves trailing 18-6.
The Starfires increased their lead to 27-6 early in the second quarter before the Tigers started to get going offensively with scoring from Kassy Wentworth, Kierra Reichert, Trinity Henderson and Widener.
In the final minute of the second quarter, South Adams’ Dellinger scored her 1,000th career point. She had 17 in the first half and helped put the Starfires up 41-16 at halftime.
“You can’t key on anyone,” Bolin said of the challenge of defending South Adams. “You know 11 (Dellinger) is their big scorer, but all of them shot the ball well. And of course you have a 6-3 girl (Wurster) and our tallest girl is about 5-8, got to deal with that.”
After being held scoreless in the first half, Bailey Stammen started to pick it up for Ansonia in the second half. She scored 6 points in the third quarter, but South Adams still was able to extend its advantage to 57-24.
Ansonia put together another good showing offensively in the fourth quarter with 10 more points while South Adams finished off a 70-34 victory.
“You’d just like to have a little better showing, but that’s basketball,” Bolin said.
Henderson and Stammen led Ansonia with 9 points each on Tuesday. Also for the Tigers, Reichert scored 6 points, Werts scored 4, Widener scored 4, and Wentworth scored 2.
Ansonia had more scoring opportunities, Bolin said, but just didn’t execute.
“We was open a lot, but we just didn’t execute in getting the ball to them,” he said. “Our backdoor cuts really worked a lot most of the time, but we had a terrible pass going into the cutter. I told the girls we’re the type of team we have to be patient and we’re going to have to be disciplined. If you don’t, the score is going to be like it is. It’s going to be a blowout because you’re just allowing them to run up and down the floor and score baskets.”
Dellinger led South Adams with a game-high 17 points, all of which came in the first half. Also for the Starfires, Pierce scored 13 points, Shaelynn Bowman scored 11, Wurster scored 10, Lydia Loshe scored 9, Calyssa Lehman scored 4, Emilee Myers scored 4, and Kayla Lefever scored 2.
South Adams improved to 5-1 with Tuesday’s win while Ansonia fell to 0-1. The Tigers will return to action on Thursday at Bradford in their Cross County Conference opener.
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.