SPRINGBORO — As the wins start to mount, so does the pressure for the Springboro High School girls basketball team. The next opponent wants to be the one that ends the Panthers’ perfect season.
On Wednesday night, Miamisburg — and especially senior guard Emilie Teuscher — took their shot. Teuscher scored a game-high 30 points, but Springboro’s balanced attack produced a 61-50 win in a Greater Western Ohio Conference South Division showdown. Springboro grabbed sole possession of first place in the division at 9-0 overall and 3-0 GWOC. Miamisburg fell to 6-2 and 1-1.
“It’s a boost of confidence for sure for everyone,” said Springboro center Shannon Thomas. “I guess the target gets bigger on our backs. We have to stay confident and win them.”
So far, so good.
The Panthers overcame their largest deficit — 28-21 with 4:27 left in the second quarter — with a 13-0 run to end the half. They started the third quarter with seven of the first eight points for a 41-30 lead.
“Miamisburg’s a good basketball team. We’re not just going to go in and devastate them because we’re better than them,” said Springboro coach Tom Benjamin. “We’re going to have to play good basketball to beat them.”
While Teuscher was hitting from all over the court, the 6-foot-4-inch White was controlling the inside. White scored 10 of her 16 points in the first quarter. Teammate Meredith Fox picked up the scoring in the second quarter. She scored nine of her 17 points in that decisive 13-0 scoring. She started the scoring with a layup off a turnover, hit two free throws, knocked down a 3-pointer and ended the run with a spinning drive in the lane. Olivia Schretzman, who finished with 12, added the other four points.
“They’re solid up and down the lineup and we still have kids learning what they’re doing,” said Miamisburg coach Ron Russo. “I was glad my team didn’t quit. But I told my team right now (Springboro is) better. … I didn’t discourage my team to the point that I don’t think we can beat them. But we have to play really well to beat a team like that.”
The majority of the first half belonged to the Vikings. Teuscher’s 14 first-quarter points led Miamisburg to a 21-17 lead after one quarter. The lead stretched to seven before Springboro took over.
The Panthers, who led by as many as 12 in the second half, saw it dip to four as Teuscher ended the third quarter with a 3-pointer and opened the fourth she same way. But the Panthers made 9-of-10 free throws in the fourth to hold on.
“We’ve got to do a better job with the lead and we’ve still got work to do on our offense,” Benjamin said. “Sometimes it’s there and sometimes it isn’t. I thought the third quarter, we had a lot of possessions I thought we wasted.”
Miamisburg, though, didn’t fare much better. The Vikings managed just three field goals in the third quarter. They struggled getting offense inside against White and Schretzman, and Heather Shultz and Fox slowed Teuscher.
“Teuscher gets 30, give her credit. No one in the three years I’ve been here has gotten that kind of point total against us,” Benjamin said.
Russo felt the same about White.
“You can hope she doesn’t get 20-plus, and try to stop everyone else,” Russo said. “What happens is you focus so much attention on her, you start leaving other people open. When she’s standing in the middle of the lane, that takes away a lot of things that you try to do.”
Miamisburg has a couple weeks to figure out a solution. The GWOC rematch is Jan. 19 at Miamisburg.
“We still have a shot at it,” Russo said. “I’m not counting us out, but we have to get better fast to compete with teams like this.”