PAULDING – Bath found its 3-point rhythm early and didn’t let it go.
And, in the end, there was not much Wapakoneta could do about it.
Bath hit 12 of 23 on 3-pointers to help the Wildkittens knock off Wapakoneta 61-42 Saturday to win the Division II girls basketball district championship Saturday at Paulding.
Bath guard Alyssa Manley finished with 19 points and hit five 3-pointers, all in the first half. She had 17 at the break. Maddie Dackin added 18 points with three 3-pointers. Bri Smith had 10 points, with two 3-pointers, and nine rebounds.
Bath (21-3) advances to the regional semifinals against Toledo Rogers at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Ohio Northern. Wapakoneta ends its season 14-11.
This marks Bath’s fourth straight regional trip.
“This feeling’s great,” Manley said. “This is what we work for all year.”
Bath went out to a 19-13 first-quarter lead when it went 5 of 9 on 3-pointers. Manley had three 3-pointers in the opening quarter.
“She (Manley) was really focused tonight,” Bath coach Greg Mauk said. “I thought she was as into this game as much as I’ve ever seen her approach a basketball game. She was extremely focused and also relaxed and she came ready to play. … It seems like she’s starting to find her rhythm and get her feet under her.”
Added Manley, “My shooting hasn’t been good this whole season so I knew I had to get better for the tournaments. I’ve been working and staying after practice. Actually, the whole team has stayed after and shot and we’ve encouraged each other and the rim started getting a lot bigger.”
In the second quarter, Manley hit two 3-pointers, while Smith and Maddie Dackin both hit one.
With Bath shooting over Wapakoneta’s 3-2 zone and its man-to-man, the Wildkittens led 33-22 at the half.
“It’s a lot easier to hit your shot after a couple of people have hit them,” Mauk said. “It’s a contagious type of thing and tonight it was. Tonight we had five different players hit threes.”
Dackin said, “Once we get on a roll, everybody just feels it. Once that ball gets rolling, everybody starts shooting it and Alyssa shot the ball really well tonight. She made everything.”
Dackin took control in the second half, with 15 second-half points. Bath led 48-34 after three quarters. Dackin had eight points in the third.
In the final quarter, the Wildkittens used a double-stack offense, with two players lining each foul line, to milk the clock and get easy layups.
“We had to find a way to shorten the game a little bit,” Mauk said. “We went to the stack, delay game, which I thought shortened the game and made the game where there weren’t enough possessions for the other team to win the game.”
Carly Buzzard had nine points and seven boards for Wapakoneta. Sara Warner (16 ppg) was held to eight points. Riley Culver had eight points and seven rebounds.
“I thought she (Maddie Dackin) came out in the second half, and not only, offensively, was she really good, she guarded Sara Warner and did a tremendous job of keeping her in check,” Mauk said.
Overall, Bath hit 48 percent from the field. The Redskins shot 44 percent. Bath won the boards, 25-24.
Senior forward Audrey Brandon had a solid tournament off the bench with eight points and eight rebounds in the district tournament. Most of her boards were on the offensive end.
“I like physical contact. That’s what I like to do,” she said. “I want to do everything I can to help our team win.”
Maddi Stiles 3, Sara Warner 8, Carly Buzzard 9, Megan Watt 8, Riley Culver 8, Karli Schneider 2, Megan Fisher 2, Hilary Bourne 2. Totals: 18-3-42.
Bri Smith 10, Jenna Hollar 3, Danielle VanDyne 3, Alyssa Manley 19, Maddie Dackin 18, Audrey Brandon 2, Cassie Best 4, Ellie Dackin 2. Totals: 21-7-61.