XENIA — Being slightly bigger and slightly taller turned out to be visiting Yellow Springs’ winning recipe for claiming Thursday’s Metro Buckeye League battle with Xenia Christian, 48-40.
With a balanced Bulldogs scoring attack from Kennedy Harshaw, Brianna Ayers, Ashlei Kelly and Elizabeth Smith in the first half, Yellow Springs was able to build itself a 26-16 lead at halftime. And each time Xenia Christian would make a small run to get back into the contest, Yellow Springs seemed to have an answer of its own.
The Bulldogs have now won four of their last five games.
“We’ve had kind of an up-and-down season, and we’ve had some days where we hadn’t played as well as we’d hoped, but tonight, we ran all 12 girls in at important times during the game, and every single one of them contributed,” said Yellow Springs coach Jack Hatert.
Nine of the 12 Bulldog players scored in the game. Harshaw led the way with a 14-point night, Ayers finished with nine points and Kelly dumped in eight. Shanice Wright, Smith, Rachele Orme, Molly Hendrickson, Anna Williamson and Anna Mullin also scored for Yellow Springs (9-8, 6-4 MBC).
“Kennedy played well, Shanice had a nice game, … and late in the game, Anna Mullin came in to give us some quality minutes, it was nice to see. I told the kids after the game, every single player on our roster, from top to bottom, they have improved. And that’s what you like to see,” Hatert said.
Were it not for Ambassadors sophomore Katie Riddle, Xenia Christian would’ve been in an even deeper hole at halftime. Despite taking an inadvertent knee to the stomach which briefly sidelined her in the first quarter, Riddle scored 11 of her game-high 21 points in the first half. Rachel Graver (nine points), Rachel Sweeney (six), Grace Dean and Madie Castle (two each) were the only other Xenia Christian players to score.
“If we wouldn’t turn the ball over so much (22 times), we’d be in a lot better shape, but that’s what happens when you try to force the issue a little bit,” said Xenia Christian coach Bev Moser. “Size has been a problem for us this year, so giving up those second and third chances is not a good thing for us.”
Unofficially, Yellow Springs out-rebounded Xenia Christian, 39-24. The Ambassadors (8-10, 4-6 MBC) have now lost three of their last four games.
Both teams return to action in nonleague road games on Saturday. Xenia Christian has an 11 a.m. scheduled game at Dayton Ponitz Career Technology Center, while Yellow Springs heads south to play Cincinnati Shroder at noon.