By JOSH MORGRET
FOR THE REVIEW TIMES
OLD FORT — State-ranked Hopewell-Loudon played without MaKayla Elmore, who was out with a knee injury, but the Chieftains made quick work of Bucyrus 66-10 on Wednesday in a Division III district girls basketball tournament opener.
The Chieftains (23-0) raced out to a quick lead, scoring the first 18 points of the game behind a strong two-headed monster of junior guards Olivia Zender and Kaia Woods.
“You always like to come out fast,” H-L coach Bob Gase said. “They did a good job and stuck to the gameplan pretty well.”
The Chieftains, the No. 2 seed and No. 10 team in the final state poll, will meet Lakota (5-17) in the district quarterfinals at 6:15 p.m. Saturday at Old Fort.
Gase confirmed that Elmore will miss Saturday’s game against Lakota, who H-L beat 82-39 and 95-36 in the regular season. All signs point to a season-ending knee injury for the 6-foot-3 junior all-Ohio post, who injured her knee in the Chieftains’ win over Fremont St. Joseph on Thursday.
“Lakota is fairly quick and they do a lot of nice things,” Gase said. “We have to be better prepared for them than we did for Bucyrus.”
Zender hit five 3s en route to 26 points while Woods added 20 points and five rebounds. Morgan Searles added 12 points with four 3s off the bench.
“The two-guard game showed up a little more tonight with Olivia and Kaia,” Gase said. “They do a good job working together. I would not want to play against them.”
Hopewell-Loudon extended its lead to 22-3 after eight minutes and to 45-8 at halftime.
With a running clock in effect for the second half, the Chieftains outscored the Redmen 13-0 in the third quarter and held Bucyrus to just two points in the second half.
“We wanted to work on some stuff defensively without MaKayla in there,” Gase said. “We have to get used to it on offense and defense without MaKayla. I thought for the most part we did OK.”
Bucyrus was eliminated at 1-22 overall.
Blizzard 2-0–6, Kimmel 0-2–2, Frost 1-0–2. TOTALS: 3-35 2-3 — 10.
Zender 10-1–26, Woods 6-8–20, Searles 4-0–12, Kreais 2-0–4, Fox 1-0–2, Coleman 1-0–2. TOTALS: 24-42 9-17 — 66.
Bucyrus 3 5 0 2 — 10
Hopewell-Loud. 22 23 13 8 — 66
3-Point GOALS: Bucyrus 2-9 (Blizzard 2); Hopewell-Loudon 9-17 (Zender 5, Searles 4).
rebounds: Bucyrus 26 (Myers 7); Hopewell-Loudon 17 (Woods 5).
turnovers: Bucyrus 31; Hopewell-Loudon 10.