Waynesfield-Goshen Tigers junior Abbie Van Horn (23) takes the ball up the floor Monday during a non-league varsity girls basketball game against the Botkins Trojans in Waynesfield. (Staff photo/Brad Frank)
WAYNESFIELD — The Waynesfield-Goshen Tigers did what they should have Monday in handling a banged up Botkins Trojans team.
On paper, W-G was the favorite entering Monday’s contest, and the result on the scoreboard matched what showed on paper by the game’s end, as the Tigers managed a 65-37 victory in a non-league varsity girls basketball contest.
The Tigers are now 5-1 overall after Monday’s win.
The Trojans had only eight healthy players in the entire high school entering Monday’s game.
“The kids who are out on the floor are playing hard,” Botkins varsity coach Don Mack said. “That’s all we can ask of them.”
W-G got out to an 8-0 lead in the first period before Botkins scored five straight points.
The Tigers led 16-7 after one period.
The second period proved to be the most lopsided of the night, as W-G outscored Botkins 25-5 to find a 41-12 halftime lead.
The first of back-to-back 3-pointers by Tigers freshman Emily Patton gave her team a 20-point lead, 30-10, midway through the second period.
Imploring his team to play better in the second half, Mack saw a response from his team.
Although the Tigers substituted for at least two starters much of the second half, the Trojans managed to tie W-G in the third period, 12-12, and outscore the Tigers by one in the fourth, 13-12.
“In the first half we didn’t do things that we needed to do, regardless of who’s on the floor,” Mack said. “It’s basic stuff — boxing out, negating any height advantage, moving without the basketball. Those things weren’t happening. We addressed it at halftime.
“In the second half, we played with a lot more energy and movement. We played more together. It showed a lot better, too.”
Kayla Heuker led Botkins 13 points. Mackenzie Brown and Brooke Bornhorst added six points each for the Trojans.
Emily Patton paced all scorers with 20 points Monday.
Also for W-G, Alicia Kessler tallied 12 points, Abbie Van Horn had 10 and Kiersten Wilcox notched eight points and a team-high 13 rebounds.
Mackenzie Jarnagin scored seven points off of the bench.
W-G varsity coach Ted Patton described his thoughts on the flow of the game.
“We were playing hard at the beginning,” the coach said. “We came out and did what the game plan was. We wanted to make them turn the ball over and for us to get out in transition.
“In the second half, we got relaxed and we didn’t give 100 percent.”
Mack said, at this point, his team can merely learn as much as possible until its relative health improves.
“They’re so inexperienced and young,” the coach said. “People are playing in spots they’re not comfortable with, and we understand that. Those are things we’re going to have to work on until we get everybody healthy.”
Botkins might have as many as three injured players — Andrea Goettemoeller, Taylor Doseck and Michaela Kramer — return to action for its next game Thursday in Shelby County Athletic League action on the road against the Fairlawn Jets.
Natalie Ambos is still sidelined with an unknown knee injury.
Casey Woodall is waiting results of an MRI.
“Of our six people injured, all of them are post players,” Mack said. “My first agenda on every practice plan is to get a medical report. I see the trainer to get an update on everybody.
“I’ve never seen, heard or been a part of something like this. We’re already low on numbers and too lose that many, unfortunately. We might, however, see the benefit of these kids playing later on.”
Patton mentioned Botkins’ lack of health.
“Botkins is obviously got quite a bit of injuries,” Patton said. “He wasn’t at full tilt. Don Mack does a nice job with them. From what I hear, he’ll have some back for Thursday night, so that will certainly help them.”
Patton commented on the status of his young 5-1 team.
“Because we’re so young, we have to continue to learn about the basketball game,” he said. “We have to improve ourselves on a weekly basis. As coaches, we have to evaluate and see if we’re getting better week by week. I think we have.
“We’ve come a long way since the beginning of the year, and we’ve got a long ways to go, but, with our youth, the kids are playing well.”
The Tigers will next play Thursday in a Northwest Central Conference game on the road against the Riverside Pirates.
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