By SCOTT COTTOS
BLOOMDALE — Elmwood senior Zoe Shank was not pleased when coach Doug Reynolds took her out only minutes into Friday night’s girls basketball game against Fostoria High School.
“I told her I thought she lost her focus,” Reynolds said. “When she came back, she came back to play.”
Indeed, Shank went on to break the school record with a 42-point outburst in the Royals’ 73-42 thumping of the Lady Red in Northern Buckeye Conference play.
Shank completed a double-double with 10 rebounds as Elmwood shot 57.1 percent (28 of 49) from the field and won its eighth straight game to improve its record to 9-1 overall and 7-0 at the halfway point of the NBC schedule.
Fostoria slipped to 2-12 overall and 0-7 in the conference.
“I just kind of got in my zone,” said the 5-foot-11 Shank, who broke the previous Elmwood record of 40 points set by Julie Rubel in 1997. “I was actually really mad in the first quarter when Coach pulled me and I think that lit a fire under me. But I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. They had assists, they stole the ball, they rebounded the ball. I couldn’t have done it without any of them.”
Shank, the NBC’s co-Player of the Year in 2016-17, matched Rubel when she scored on an offensive rebound for a 69-30 lead. Reynolds took her out for a curtain call late in the fourth quarter, but with encouragement from his players, he re-inserted her to go for the scoring mark.
Shank re-entered almost immediately, and she broke the record when she knocked down two free throws with 3:05 remaining.
“I’m proud of her,” Reynolds said. “It takes a lot for a kid to reach that milestone. It’s just nice. … I took Zoe out and somebody told me she’d tied the record. It’s for the kid. I explained it to (Fostoria) coach Gabe (Sierra) and he was very good about that.”
Sierra was highly complimentary of Shank, who scored 23 of her points in the first half.
“Zoe’s just an unbelievable player,” Sierra said. “I mean, we just don’t have an answer. We don’t have anybody who can match up with her. We thought about a box- and-one, but you’ve still got to respect the other players, their shooters out there. They’re a solid team and I respect everything Doug’s doing.”
In a sloppy start to the game, the Lady Red played the Royals to a 5-5 draw before Peighton Troike, who transferred to Elmwood after St. Wendelin closed last spring, connected on a 3-pointer with 1:34 left in the first quarter.
The Royals finished the period ahead 13-5, and they upped the count to 21-10 when Shank got to the 12-point mark two minutes into the second quarter.
Elmwood stretched its 38-11 halftime lead to 58-26 by the end of three quarters.
“I’m just proud of the kids,” Reynolds said. “Tonight they needed to come out and establish (control). Defensively, we did. We didn’t score well in the first quarter, but, boy, we turned in on in that second quarter.”
Jill Hannah had nine points and five assists for the Royals, and Mattison Hillard recorded nine points and seven assists. Maddie Schramko snared five rebounds and Troike made four steals.
Naija Miller made a pair of 3-pointers and finished with 10 points for Fostoria. Larai Williams added eight points.
FOSTORIA (2-12, 0-7 nbc)
Jones 3-0–6, Miller 4-0–10, Settles 1-2–4, Taylor 1-2–4, Williams 4-0–8, Weimerskirch 0-0–0, Chasco 2-0–4, Cook 2-0–4, Dessausure 0-0–0, Overton 0-0–0, Velazquez 1-0–2. TOTALS: 18 4-11 — 42.
ELMWOOD (9-1, 7-0 nbc)
Troike 1-0–3, Hannah 4-0–9, Schramko 1-0–2, Hillard 2-3–7, Shank 17 8-10 — 42, Reinhard 0-0–0, Zimmerman 1-0–2, Arnold 1-0–3, Hall 1-1–3, Sidle 0-0–0, Meyer 0-0–0, Pennington 0-2–2. TOTALS: 28-49 15-26 — 73.
Fostoria 5 6 15 16 — 42
Elmwood 13 25 20 15 — 73
3-Point GOALS: Fostoria 2 (Miller 2); Elmwood 2-6 (Troike & Arnold 1).
rebounds: Elmwood 32 (Shank 10).
turnovers: Elmwood 17.
junior varsity: Elmwood, 40-32.