LIMA — When you are trying to resurrect a program, play a limited schedule, and don’t have enough players to field as junior varsity team, bad starts can be a killer.
The Temple Christian girls opened their basketball season against visiting Vanlue and fell behind 12-0 before playing the Wildcats even the rest of the game. The end result was a 39-27 win for Vanlue over the Pioneers.
Temple (0-1) trailed 10-0 after the first period of play that saw them commit 14 turnovers. The Wildcats scored the first basket of the second quarter to go up 12-0 before the Pioneers got on the scoreboard when senior Madison Yingst connected to score the first Temple points of the contest.
The Pioneers stepped up their defensive pressure and kept Vanlue (1-0) in sight as they went to the half time break trailing 17-5.
Turnovers were a huge factor for both teams as Temple ended the night committing 37 miscues compared to 33 for the Wildcats.
The Pioneers began to mount a comeback in the third period as they outscored Vanlue 13-7 to get to with-in 24-18 entering the final period of play. Yingst keyed the comeback with a 7-point quarter.
When Temple scored the first four points of the last period, they were suddenly with two points at 24-22, but that was as close as they got as the Wildcats stepped up their defensive effort to shut down the Pioneers.
“They took it to us but we played good defense in the fourth quarter,” Vanlue coach Renee Schlumbohm said. “I’m proud of the way we stepped up and we’ll take the win.”
A large key was the free throw shooting by the Wildcats in the fourth quarter. After going 5-for-10 at the charity stripe in the first three quarters, Vanlue stepped up and connected on 13-of-16 free throws in the final period to hold Temple at bay.
Game-high scorer Amanda Clymer paced the Wildcats with 24 points that included 14-of-20 from the free throw line.
Yingst paced the Pioneers with her 15 point effort. This is the fourth season back for the Temple Christian program after several seasons of no girls basketball.
“We strive to play as hard as we can and we turned the game around with our defense.” Temple coach Kristin Davis said. “Our goal is to play with intensity every time we step on the court but we have very little experience. These girls have come a long way in four years.”
Shooting was struggle for both squads as the Wildcats finished the game hitting 10-of-34 from the field good for 29 percent. Temple finished with a dismal 9-for-43 shooting game for 21 percent.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.