GALION — Defense was the key for Mount Gilead in a 26-18 victory over Galion on Tuesday evening.
The Indians (1-0) shut out the Tigers 5-0 in the first quarter and built a 19-9 lead by halftime before holding on for the eight-point win. Galion outscored Mount Gilead 9-7 in the second half, but a late run in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter fell short.
“We played pretty good defense,” said Mount Gilead head coach Robert Scott following his ballclub’s season opener. “That was our game plan going in. We have a lot of kids that that was their first varsity game and it showed. Offensively, we’ve got some work to do. But defense will be our key. If we can get our offense to catch up to our defense that will help us.”
The Indians have four sophomores and four freshmen on their roster. The other five players are juniors. Two sophomores started and two freshmen played significant minutes against Galion.
Sophomore Greer Simpson led Mount Gilead in scoring with six points and grabbed nine rebounds. Junior Madilyn Elson and freshman Ava Baker scored five points each. Elson had five rebounds.
Freshman Faith White added four points. Junior Lydia Stalnaker and sophomore Aubrey Thomas added three points apiece.
After scoring 45 points in the season-opening win over Crestline on Friday, Nov. 19, the Tigers struggled to make shots against Mount Gilead.
“It just wasn’t clicking tonight,” Galion head coach Shani Rush said. “(Senior forward) Natalee Perkins scores zero points and (senior point guard) Teanna Greter scores three. Those are our go-to players and we can’t have them not scoring. Mount Gilead did a good job of keying on them, but we have to be able to adjust to that. When we play a game like this we can always learn from it, so we’ll get back to work and we’re going to get better.”
Freshman Cameron Eckert led Galion with eight points, all of which came in the second half. She scored five of Galion’s six points in the final period and hit shots that cut the deficit to six points on two occasions (22-16 and 24-18).
Senior Emma Jutz scored six points and grabbed six rebounds. Senior Teanna Greter added three points and junior Dezi Lester had one point.
Mount Gilead controlled the boards, outrebounding Galion, 30-23. The Indians collected 17 offensive rebounds, which helped them build the 10-point halftime lead.
Galion (1-1) is off until Thursday, Dec. 2 when they play host to Marion Harding in the opening game of the Mid Ohio Athletic Conference schedule. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Mount Gilead will be back in action on Monday, Nov. 29 when they travel to Elgin for a non-conference matchup. Game time is 7 p.m.