Girls basketball: Tecumseh shows no rust in conference rout

Tecumseh senior Corinne Thomas (center) leads an Arrows’ fastbreak with senior Mackenzie Pauley (12) and senior Presley Griffitts (behind Thomas) trailing the play. Greg Billing / Contributed

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Tecumseh senior Corinne Thomas (center) leads an Arrows’ fastbreak with senior Mackenzie Pauley (12) and senior Presley Griffitts (behind Thomas) trailing the play. Greg Billing / Contributed

There’s been no letdown for the Tecumseh Arrows after a lengthy layoff. And unfortunately for opposing offenses there’s been no letup, either.

Tecumseh’s swarming four-quarter press overwhelmed another opponent Saturday night, this one an 84-40 victory over Jonathan Alder in a key Central Buckeye Conference game. The Arrows forced as many as 25 turnovers to solidify their lead in the Kenton Trail Division.

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The game was just the second for Tecumseh (6-2 overall, 4-0 CBC) since Dec. 15 and first in the past seven days.

“We didn’t like that long layoff. We didn’t play real great at Shawnee, I didn’t feel like,” Tecumseh coach Danielle Thomas said of a 65-23 win against Shawnee on Dec. 29. “We weren’t in sync like we were going into the break. This was a huge game.”

Alder (7-3, 2-2 CBC) scored the game’s first basket for its only lead of the game at 3-0. Tecumseh seniors Macy Berner and Presley Griffitts and freshman Mae Mastin each scored six points in the first quarter to help the Arrows lead 21-13. The lead reached 25 (40-15) late in the second quarter.

“I know Jonathan Alder can put up a lot of points if you let them,” Thomas said of a Pioneers’ offense averaging 66 points coming in. “Our defense was our biggest focus. I thought we executed that perfect.”

The offense was clicking, too. The Arrows converted turnovers into fast breaks and pushed the lead past 30 points (53-22) midway through the third quarter and 40 points (66-26) early in the fourth. The final score marked the game’s highest margin.

The two games provided a nice break from practice, which can be just as exhausting as games for the Arrows.

“There’s no let up in practice,” Berner said. “We work really hard in practice to get in shape. … I like playing fast. I don’t like slowing it down and walking it up the floor. I like going hard the entire time.”

Senior Corinne Thomas led Tecumseh with 22 points. Griffitts added 16, senior Mackenzie Pauley 14, Mastin 12, Berner 11 and sophomore Terah Harness nine.

Thomas leads the Arrows with 22 points and Griffitts 17. Mastin has added another scoring option with 10 points per game, while Pauley averages nine and Berner seven.

“They all made me feel welcome,” Mastin said of gelling with a senior-heavy roster. “I knew all of them and they’re really friendly. The first game I was really scared. The summer kind of helped me because we played a lot of scrimmages. It helped me get the jitters out.”

Tecumseh’s rotation is seven-players deep with sophomore Lyndsey Back and another sophomore, Delaney Martin, on the bench in case of foul trouble.

“We’re definitely more balanced with scoring,” Berner said. “Of course Corinne and Presley are going to get their points, but the other three have to push, too. They can’t do it all on their own.”

That group’s endurance will get a test with 11 games in January, including a pair of games against Greater Western Ohio Conference opponents Northmont (Monday) and Springboro (Wednesday). The Arrows’ longest stretch between games is four days.

“It’s definitely a concern playing that many games in January with our style of play,” coach Thomas said.

And not just for the Arrows, either.

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