SMITHVILLE: Experience prevailed Thursday night, when Smithville and Chippewa met in a girls basketball game.
The host Smithies possessed a more seasoned group, and it showed in a 53-38 Wayne County Athletic League victory.
Cousins Olivia Besancon and Danielle Besancon combined to make seven 3-pointers in the first half and give Smithville a 35-7 halftime advantage.
“It seemed like they made everything they shot,” Chippewa coach Dennis Schrock said. “It is a credit to them. They are an experienced team that went to state last season [in Division III]. He [Smithville coach Mike Miller] has three starters back and their sixth man back is back, too. They came out focused to do what they did.
“On the other hand, my young kids played scared, but it was reversed in the second half. Unfortunately, they were too far ahead. I thought we hustled really hard in the second half and we started to get stops and make some shots.”
Olivia Besancon, a 5-foot-6 junior, made four 3-pointers and scored all of her 16 points in the first half for the Smithies (7-0, 4-0). She also had four assists.
Danielle Besancon, a 5-foot-4 senior, scored 13 of her 15 points in the first half. She made three 3-pointers in the opening 16 minutes of the game.
“We knew coming in that Chippewa was 7-1 and has made tremendous strides,” Miller said. “They have some really good young kids. Coach Schrock is back at it. He is a legend up there in Chippewa [with 498 career wins]. I graduated from there and had him as a teacher.
“We were ready and we played extremely well in the first half. We tried to tell our kids that in the second half they will not quit. I knew they would come at us.”
The Chipps (7-2, 3-2) put their first-half struggles behind them and challenged the Smithies, who have won the past five WCAL championships.
“We just did not do the things that we needed to in the second half,” Miller said. “Our floor spacing was bad and we pounded the ball too much against traps instead of passing the ball like we did in the first half. Defensively, our focus and effort went down. Against a good team if you don’t play with a high level of intensity and focus defensively, they will get good looks and score. They outscored us by 13 in the second half after we outscored them by 28 in the first half.”
Senior Emily Caldwell, junior Adriana Fike and junior Natalie Indermuhle all finished with six points for Smithville.
Caldwell also had 10 rebounds and three blocks. Indermuhle grabbed eight rebounds and Fike assisted on four baskets.
Miller said he was pleased with the way senior Kylie Frizell played after being sick earlier in the week. She had four points and five rebounds.
Schrock said “We’re growing up tonight” multiple times to his team as they chipped into their deficit.
Chipps freshman center Ashley Richardson had nine points, five rebounds and four blocks. Junior Abby Richmond and sophomore Maegan Storad both scored seven points, and sophomore Ashley Brown added six points.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.