BAY VILLAGE — When Elyria Catholic’s interior game was held in check by a feisty Bay defense the Panthers had to rely on Faith to find a way through.
Junior point guard Faith Williams, that is.
Williams scored 10 of her game-high 18 points in the second quarter Saturday as Elyria Catholic overcame a shaky start to beat the Rockets 49-35 in Great Lakes Conference play.
The Panthers improved to 9-4, 4-1 in the GLC.
“The first quarter was a little slow because they were playing really good defense on us,” Williams said. “Then we figured out what we needed to do. What I needed to do was attack and get everyone else some looks and that’s what I did.”
Willams did a little more than that. After the Panthers scored only two points in the first seven minutes, Williams hit five of her next six shots to lead Elyria Catholic to a 21-15 halftime lead. The Panthers trailed 5-4 at the end of the first quarter.
“When teams try to slow us down I have to find a way to get everyone excited and hyped up and get us going,” Williams said.
Williams wasn’t the only Panthers guard to contribute as Regan Schill had 12 points.
“We needed that great guard play today,” Panthers coach Eric Rothgery said. “Generally in girls high school basketball it’s the guards that make everything go. We’re learning to play with our bigs but when our guards are effective we’re pretty tough.”
Bay (6-6, 4-2) has had a fierce rivalry with Elyria Catholic dating back to when the teams were in the West Shore Conference, and even though the Rockets were down 23 points early in the fourth quarter they kept battling and actually cut the Panthers’ lead to 12 with just over three minutes to play.
Halle Orr led Bay with 10 points.
“We’ve got to find a way to score consistently and we’ll be OK,” Bay coach Brian Hill said. “Our girls played hard and did a great job of holding them to 21 points in the first half. But give credit to Elyria Catholic. They showed why they’re a great team.
“(Elyria Catholic) is so much bigger than us, so much more physical and we still fought them tooth and nail. It shows us we can be a team to be reckoned with in the second half.”
Although Bay’s zone defense kept Elyria Catholic’s bigs out of rhythm all afternoon, senior Megan Scheibelhut still finished with 10 points and sophomore Ally Winnen grabbed 13 rebounds before fouling out early in the fourth quarter.
“Our coaches always say we’re trying to be a high-low team and once we get the ball inside we should look to get it out to the guard to hit a shot,” Scheibelhut said. “(The guards) knew their time was going to come eventually and it did today. Faith really stepped it up in the second quarter and that’s what boosted everyone else up.”
Thanks to a late schedule change, the Panthers will be back in action this morning when they travel to Berlin Hiland to take part in the Classic In the Country to face a Minster team that is No. 1 in Ohio in Division IV.
It will be the second time in a week Elyria Catholic will play one of the top teams in the state in the second game of a back-to-back. Last Sunday it lost to Gilmour Academy, the No. 2 team in Division II.
“It’s kinda hard,” Scheibelhut said. “I know in the NBA they go back-to-back all the time. It’s rare that it happens in girls high school basketball but we can get it done.”
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elyria Catholic 49, Bay 35
ELYRIA CATHOLIC (49): Faith Williams 7-1-18, Regan Schill 3-4-12, Abby Winnen 2-1-5, Megan Scheibelhut 4-2-10, Ally Winnen 2-0-4. Totals 18-8-49.
BAY (35): Kayla Koz 1-0-2, Audrey Hyland 1-0-2, Maddie Edgerly 3-0-6, Halle Orr 5-0-10, Grace Linehan 1-0-2, Haley Andrejcak 2-2-6, Maddie Andrews 0-2-2, Maeve Johnson 2-0-1. Totals 15-4-35.
Elyria Catholic 4 17 17 11 — 49
Bay 5 10 6 14 — 35
Three point goals: Elyria Catholic (Williams 3, Schill 2), Bay (Johnson). Field goals: Elyria Catholic 18-52 (35 percent), Bay 15-55 (27 percent). Free throws: Elyria Catholic 8-13 (62 percent), Bay 4-6 (67 percent). Rebounds: Elyria Catholic 35, Bay 37. Turnovers: Elyria Catholic 12, Bay 12. Total fouls: Elyria Catholic 14, Bay 13.
Junior varsity: Bay, 35-24