By Josh Brown
HUBER HEIGHTS — Beavercreek’s Lexi Moore stole the ball but the Troy defense forced her to miss her fast break layup — only to have teammate Cory Dilsavor collect the offensive rebound and kick out to Michaela Rhoades for a wide-open 3.
It was only the opening possession of the second quarter, but it was how things went for the Trojan girls basketball team all night.
The fourth-seeded Beavers capitalized on the majority of Troy’s mistakes, and even when the Trojans didn’t make any, Beavercreek found ways to make things go its way, shooting 50 percent from the field and putting together a 23-0 second-half stretch to put away a 63-20 victory over No. 13 Troy in the second round of the Division I sectional tournament Wednesday at Wayne High School.
Beavercreek — which improved to 18-6 with its fourth straight win — will now face No. 5 Tecumseh Friday at Troy High School for the sectional title. Troy, meanwhile, finished the season 9-14 and on a five-game skid, the final four of those without leading scorer Bailey Hess.
“We just had too many turnovers tonight,” Troy coach Nathan Kopp said. “We knew we couldn’t have live-ball turnovers, and we just had too many.”
The Trojans turned the ball over 27 times in the game, including 11 in the first quarter. The defense helped keep things close early, though, forcing six Beavercreek turnovers in the opening quarter and holding the Beavers to 3 for 8 from the field for the first seven minutes of the game. A putback by Jordan Short — the Trojans’ first field goal of the game — made it a six-point gap at 9-3 with less than 10 seconds to go in the quarter, but Dilsavor hit a 3 at the buzzer to make it 12-3 after one.
“The first quarter went okay, until they hit that big 3 at the end,” Kopp said. “After that, they shot the lights out.”
Rhoades’ 3 kicked off a 19-5 second quarter by the Beavers, who hit three more 3s before halftime and 10 for the game. A drive by Alaura Holycross ended an eight-point Beavercreek run and made it 17-5, but the Beavers scored eight more unanswered points before a 3 by Sierra Besecker made it a 28-8 game.
Beavercreek had one more big play left in it in the half, though, as Kayla Shields grabbed a defensive rebound, dished to Maddi Shannon and eventually got the ball back for a 3 in transition to put the Trojans down 31-8 at halftime.
After another 3 by Besecker on the second possession of the third quarter, the Trojans did not score again until the middle of the fourth as Beavercreek tossed in 23 unanswered points. Troy went 8 for 12 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and got one field goal from Taylor Stookey with two minutes to play, but the Beavers were never challenged.
Troy went 5 for 24 from the field, unable to hold onto the ball against the Beavers’ opportunistic defense. Beavercreek forced 27 turnovers while committing only 14 and outrebounded Troy 27-20 in the game, going 23 for 46 from the field itself.
Shields was the only player to reach double digits for either team, scoring 10 points to lead the Beavers. Keaira Youngblood, Jaelyn Bean, Dilsavor and Rhoades each added eight points and Moore scored five.
Besecker led the Trojans with six points, hitting the team’s only two 3s on the night, and Stookey scored all five of her points in the fourth quarter. Maddy Taylor added three points and four rebounds, Short had two points and four rebounds, Holycross had two points and Kayla Niswonger and Kiyha Adkins each had one.
It was the fifth straight season the Trojans were ousted in their first postseason game, a run that began with a 49-42 loss to Beavercreek in 2011-12. The last time Troy won a tournament game was on Feb. 17, 2011 against Trotwood.
And while the Trojans say goodbye to a large group of six seniors, their work has paved the way for a promising group of underclassmen behind them.
“I want to thank my seniors for their commitment,” Kopp said. “All of them are great kids, and they all have a bright future ahead of them.”
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.