By Rob Kiser
and Josh Brown
CASSTOWN — There was a lot to celebrate for Miami East girls basketball team heading into the new year.
On Saturday night, the Vikings (9-3) turned in an impressive win over visiting Anna 47-27, scoring the final 10 points of the first half then holding the Rockets to 10 points in the second half.
“That’s my first win ever over Anna in the regular season,” Miami East coach Bruce Vanover said. “That just shows you how far our program has come.”
And it was a defensive switch by Vanover that sparked the Vikings to victory.
Miami East was leading just 20-17 with two minutes remaining in the first half when Anna freshman point guard Ella Doseck went to the bench because of fouls. Vanover made a decision to switch defenses to pressure Rockets with her on the bench — and it paid big dividends.
“We were really concerned about Ella (Doseck) and her ability to penetrate,” Vanover said. “When she went out, it was just a spur of the moment thing to make the switch.”
And Miami East took full advantage.
The Vikings went on a 10-0 run to take a 30-17 lead, and Anna never really recovered.
It all started with a Morgan Haney basket. Then, following a Bailey Miller 3, Haney scored five quick points, and the Vikings were in control.
East’s defense took care of the rest.
Anna made just four of 22 shots in the second half, scoring just 10 points.
And while East didn’t score in the first four minutes of the second half, it didn’t matter as Anna could only manage two before another Bailey Miller 3.
“Bailey (Miller) hit some 3s for us tonight,” Vanover said. “I was really pleased with our defense. Other than a couple times, where we probably overhelped and left the shooter behind the 3-point line. But that just shows how unselfish we are trying to help too much.”
When Mikayla Schaffner scored off a Haney dish at the third-quarter buzzer, East was up 37-21, and the Vikings coasted to the win.
Haney finished with 16 points and six assists.
“Morgan (Haney) really did a great job with offense and made some beautiful passes,” Vanover said.
Haley Howard had a big game for the Vikings with 13 points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots.
“Haley (Howard) is a four-year starter,” Vanover said. “But her best games weren’t in our biggest games — I am talking the Tipp’s, the Versailles’ , the Anna’s. She had to grow into it and she has done a great job of that this year. And of course, it helps to have Morgan (Haney) back out there.”
Camryn Miller had 10 rebounds for the Vikings and Kaitlyn Mack grabbed eight as Miami East owned a 37-27 advantage on the boards.
“I was really concerned about Anna’s size inside with the Rowland girls (Jada and Kiplyn) and Emily Aufdurharr,” Vanover said. “I thought our girls did a great job on the boards.”
Jada Rowland led Anna with eight points, while Macey Huelskamp had seven points and seven rebounds.
Miami East was 19 of 48 from the floor for 40 percent and four of eight from the line for 50 percent.
Anna was just 10 of 47 from the floor for 21 percent and four of 14 from the line for 29 percent.
East had 10 turnovers to Anna’s seven.
“I am just really proud of the girls and the way they played tonight,” Vanover said.
Giving him and the team plenty to celebrate before getting ready for another big game Thursday, when Newton visits.
NEW LEBANON — The Newton girls basketball team closed the 2017 calendar year in style Saturday, routing Dixie on the road 58-33 to improve to 7-3 on the season.
Tatum McBride scored a game-high 26 points and added five assists and five rebounds to lead the way for the Indians, while Mallory Dunlevy added 16 points.
Newton travels to Miami East Thursday.
* Boys Basketball
Fort Loramie 55,
BRANDT — The Bethel boys basketball team dropped only its second game of the season Saturday night, falling 55-47 against visiting Fort Loramie (9-0).
Ryan Rose scored a game-high 22 points for the Bees (7-2) and Jacob Evans added 14.
Bethel hosts Twin Valley South Friday in Cross County Conference play.
DAYTON — Milton-Union jumped out in front of Oakwood Saturday night, but the Bulldogs were outscored 30-8 in the decisive third quarter of a 60-49 loss in Southwestern Buckeye League crossover play to close out 2017.
Nathan Brumbaugh led the Bulldogs (1-7) with 11 points and William Morris added 10 points, five assists and three steals as Milton-Union took a 15-7 lead after one quarter and held a 25-17 lead at halftime. But Oakwood (4-4) grabbed a 47-33 lead after three quarters and held on from there.
After hosting Covington Tuesday night to open the new year, Milton-Union will host Carlisle Friday.
TROY — The Troy hockey team closed out play in its Miami Valley Freeze tournament Saturday with a loss to Beavercreek, 4-1 at Hobart Arena.
Troy, which fell to 3-10-2 on the season, travels to Alter Saturday at Kettering Rec Center.
Rob Kiser can be reached at (937) 451-3334. Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.