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BHS girls basketball wins defensive bout vs. Falcons 

By Cort Reynolds

The visiting Bluffton High School girls basketball team built a lead with strong defense and held off a late Riverdale charge to win 25-21 in a low-scoring non-conference contest Saturday afternoon, January 21.

The Pirate girls limited the Falcons to just 18 percent field goal shooting and only nine points in the second half to post the road win.

Bluffton held Riverdale without a basket in the third quarter, and to one point in the period to build a 10-point lead going to the fourth quarter.

Riverdale scored the first eight points of the final stanza to pull within a basket, but came up short.

Falcon Maddie Biltoft bounced in two foul shots with 1:42 remaining to inch the Falcons within 23-21.

At the 1:26 mark, Pirate post Ayla Grandey was fouled on a half hook and swished a pair of free throws to build the lead back to four. Riverdale’s Mariah Bonham missed a triple, and Pirate Sami Scoles rebounded.


Bluffton ran off about 55 seconds with a stall before an over and back turnover gave the Falcons possession with 34 seconds left. Yet a Riverdale double dribble gave the ball back to the Pirates.

Bluffton missed two front ends of one-and-ones, but Bonham missed on a drive defended well by Scoles, and Grandey grabbed the big rebound.

Bluffton improved to 12-6 with the rock-fight victory. The Falcon girls fell to 5-11 following the defeat.

The Pirates led 8-6 after the opening stanza. They stretched the margin to 19-12 at halftime.

The third period featured just five combined points, with Bluffton winning it 4-1 to extend its lead to 23-13. 

Grandey’s foul shots with 86 seconds left were the only Pirate points of the fourth quarter.

Sophomore Grandey led the Pirates with eight points and eight rebounds.

Senior point guard Scoles tallied seven points and grabbed three caroms. Blair Utendorf contributed six steals, four points and four rebounds.

Riley Eachus compiled four points, three assists and two steals.

Bonham led the Falcons with eight points as neither team had a player reach double figures. Kinsey Shull yanked down eight boards.

The Pirates canned 11 of 32 shots from the field (34 percent), hitting 11 of 23 deuces (48 percent) and zero of nine shots from three-point territory (0 percent). 

Bluffton converted three of six free throws (50 percent). 

Riverdale sank a mere seven of 40 field goal tries (18 percent), making five of 23 two-pointers (22 percent) and only two of 17 triple tries (11 percent). 

The Falcons converted five of 10 foul shots (50 percent) to equal the same percentage as Bluffton. 

Both teams grabbed 28 rebounds. Bluffton committed 21 turnovers while the Falcons were guilty of 20 errors. The Pirates had seven assists to five by Riverdale, and each team recorded a dozen steals.

Bluffton dominated points in the paint, 22-6.


Bluffton 25 (12-6)

Mehaffie 0 0-0 0, Fleece 0 0-0 0, Eachus 2-7 0-1 4, Schweingruber 0-1 0-0 0, Schaadt 0-1 0-0 0, Giesige 1-2 0-0 2, Scoles 3-9 1-2 7, Grothause 0, Grandey  3-8 2-3 8, Utendorf 2-4 0-0 4. 

Totals: 11-32/3-6/25. 3-pointers (0-9): Scoles 0-3, Eachus 0-2, Giesige 0-1, Grandey 0-2, Schweingruber 0-1.


Riverdale 21 (5-11) 

Biltoft 0-4 4-6 4, Bonham 3-11 0-2 8, Carteaux 0 0-0 0, Gonzales 1-7 0-1 2, Combs 0 0-0 0, Vent 2-9 1-5 5, Shull 1-9 0-2 2.

Totals: 7-40/5-10/21. 3-pointers (2-17): Bonham 2-5, Vent 0-5, Shull 0-4, Biltoft 0-2, Gonzales 0-1.


1 2 3 4 F

Rdl 6 6 1 8 21

Bluf 8 11 4 2 25


Bluffton (9-1 home) returns home to host league foe Spencerville (8-9, 1-4 NWC) Thursday, Jan. 26. Both teams are tied for seventh place in the conference standings, ahead of last-place Ada (0-5).


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