BATH TOWNSHIP — Bath’s Bailey Dackin spent the majority of the first night of the tournament sitting next to the coaches with foul trouble.
She made sure her second night would be a lot different.
Dackin had 11 points and 13 rebounds to power the Wildkittens to a 42-39 victory over New Knoxville in the championship game of the Bath Kewpee Tipoff Classic on Saturday at Bath.
In Bath’s semifinal victory over Elida, Dackin had one point and three boards in limited action.
“I was a little nervous that first night, but my team had a great game,” Dackin said. “I wanted to come back strong (tonight). But we all scored and played really well. Everyone had a great game.”
In the 13 years of the tournament, Bath has won it nine times, including the last four years.
But this game was anything but a breeze.
“They (New Knoxville) are really good,” Bath coach Greg Mauk said. “In the first half, they weren’t missing.”
New Knoxville led 27-19 at the half, before the Wildkittens got within 34-31 after three quarters.
Leading the way for the Rangers in the first half was all-everything, quick guard Kenzie Schroer, who scored 12 of her 19 points in the first half from all over the floor.
Bath then outscored New Knoxville 11-5 in the fourth quarter to post the victory.
“We tried changing things up in the second half and went to a triangle-and-two zone and we got them to turn the ball over a little bit,” Mauk said. “I think that took them out of their rhythm a little bit.
“Then, Bailey Dackin is a rebounding machine at both ends of the floor. She had a great game.”
Dackin added, “That’s my job.”
The Wildkitttens started the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run.
Bath took the lead to stay 35-34 on a layup by Lindsey Singhaus, which came off a lob pass from Elysabette Andrews.
Andrews then had a driving up and Singhaus sank a running 8-footer to make it 39-34, Bath.
Bath led 42-39 with five seconds left and was inbounding the ball under its own basket, but the deep inbounds pass was picked off by freshman Megan Jurosic at halfcourt. Jurosic missed her halfcourt shot at the buzzer.
Andrews had eight points for Bath, while Singhaus had seven. Heidi Craddock scored six.
Schroer, who was first team all-Midwest Athletic Conference last year, had 19 points for the Rangers. She hit 8 of 12 from the field.
Jenna Schwieterman scored eight, while Ashlyn Miller had six points with two 3-pointers for the Rangers.
Bath played most of the fourth quarter in a man-to-man, with Dackin seeing a lot of time on 6-foot Jurosic, who was held to two points. She scored eight points the first night of the tourney.
Bath won the boards, 27-18. Bath shot 41 percent from the field, while the Rangers hit 42 percent.
New Knoxville hit 11 of 17 from the field in the first half, when it held a 27-19 lead.
“I’m proud of our kids,” Mauk said. “We were on the ropes at halftime. I wasn’t sure how this team would handle adversity, but I think they answered a little bit of that.”
Elida’s Shyah Wheeler, who scored 25 points on Friday, got in early foul trouble and the Bulldogs were never able to recover or find another consistent scoring threat.
Wheeler hit two quick 3-pointers, but then picked up her second foul with 5:32 left in the first quarter. That came with Elida leading 7-3.
Wheeler sat out the rest of the first half, as Findlay took a 27-17 lead into the half.
Wheeler didn’t score again after the first quarter, but still led Elida with six points.
“We had some girls step up, but playing that long without Shyah, we just got wore out,” Elida coach Chrissy Billiter said. “And we’re still looking for that second and third consistent scorer, because like what Findlay did, they keyed in on Shyah.”
Brittney Haas and Sam Shardo both had 10 points for Findlay. Emily Heiman had five points and eight rebounds. Morgan Kirk scored eight points.
Elida’s Hope Carter scored four points and went down after injuring her knee in the third quarter, but it wasn’t a serious injury.
Findlay won the boards, 38-27.
Findlay shot 41 percent from the field, while Elida hit only 20 percent.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.