BOWLING GREEN — Perrysburg used suffocating pressure defense and balanced athleticism to remain undefeated early in the 2012-13 season.
The Yellow Jackets forced Bowling Green to turn the ball over 25 times Friday night. The full-court press attack resulted in a 60-50 triumph over the Bobcats.
Perrysburg led by eight at the half and then opened the third quarter with a 13-2 run to go up 41-22. The Yellow Jackets came up with four steals during the key spurt.
Perrysburg remained undefeated overall with all three games coming in Northern Lakes League play.
“Our strengths have been speed and athleticism,” Perrysburg coach Todd Sims said. “We are used to the tempo and speed and trapping. I think other teams get tired and make mistakes because we wear on them.”
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Perrysburg junior Sarah Baer finished with a double-double as the 6-foot-1 center scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
“We always work on defense in practice,” Baer said. “I think we have natural athletes so we are all pretty good shooters.”
Senior Maddy Perry also scored 14 points, while Allex Brown added 10 for the visiting Yellow Jackets.
Bowling Green (2-3, 1-2 NLL) was led by junior guard Hanna Williford, who finished with a game-high 16 points. Livvy Dill chipped in with 11 points
The Bobcats closed to within 10 points with a late, third quarter run.
“We talked at halftime about owning the first three minutes of the third quarter and we did all but that,” BG coach Jeff Nichols said. “We had four turnovers they converted into baskets. That made a huge difference because after that our kids fought hard and played well down the stretch. But you have to take care of the basketball against Perrysburg.”
Sims has six players that were also members of the Perrysburg soccer team that won a state title last month. The Yellow Jackets have already defeated preseason favorite Northview.
“We have a lot of good athletes, soccer players who were on the championship team,” Sims said. “We got a late start with the soccer. But I knew we'd be ready. The soccer thing has only helped us. That has been our strength through the first couple of games.”
Perrysburg trailed 6-2 early, but forced seven turnovers in the first quarter to take a 12-10 lead. The Bobcats then went cold in the second quarter and the Yellow Jackets controlled the boards. Baer had eight rebounds in the first half, including six in the second quarter.
The Bobcats were down by just eight after three quarters, but Perrysburg opened the final quarter with a 6-0 run. Baer actually fouled out with 4:19 left but the Jackets didn't miss a beat.
“It helps a lot that we don't drop a bit when we sub,” Sims said. “If someone gets tired, someone else comes in and we don't miss a beat.”
Eight different players had at least one rebound.
Nichols said Perrysburg's depth leads to match up problems.
“It's like a hockey line change for them. He can sub in and they are all tenacious on defense. It wears on you,” Nichols said.
Guards Maddy Williams and Abby Sattler both finished with eight points. Both played on the soccer team along with Baer.
“We have great posts and great guards and we are all equal,” Baer said. “We try to rotate quickly and that seems to be working out. At first I didn't think we would be this good and it turns out we have already put it together. It's pretty amazing.”
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