HAVILAND – After a sluggish opening half from both teams, the Wayne Trace girls basketball team bounced back with eight straight points to start the second and half and pulled away from there for a 36-20 victory over Lima Central Catholic Monday night.

Leading 11-9 at the intermission, the red, white and blue started the third quarter with baskets from Rachel Stoller, Abby Moore, Elise Miller and Stoller again to push the advantage to 19-9. After a bucket by Lima Central Catholic’s Olivia Stolly, Wayne Trace’s Rylee Troth answered with a three-pointer that extended the Lady Raider lead to 22-11.

“We had a much better start to the second half,” noted Raider head coach Bethany DeJarnett. “The girls came out and did a better job of executing and we hit some shots.”

And hitting some shots was something neither team did with any kind of consistency in the first half. The two squads combined to make 7 of 50 shots from the field in the opening two quarters (14 percent). Wayne Trace was 4 of 30 in that stretch (13 percent) while Lima Central Catholic made 3 of 20 (15 percent).

“It was a struggle” DeJarnett added. “There was no offensive flow and we both had good scoring opportunities and just didn’t convert.”

After a Bridget Mulcahy trey got the Lady Thunderbirds within 22-14, Wayne Trace closed the third quarter with a Harper Myers free throw along with buckets from Stoller and Ava Zartman for a 27-14 advantage entering the final stanza.

Lima Central Catholic did cut the deficit to 29-18 after a pair of Stolly baskets but the Thunderbirds would get no closer from there.

Two straight Troth baskets quickly put the Lady Raiders back on top 33-18 and Christina Graham hit three of four foul shots to put Wayne Trace in front 36-18. Allison Young then provided the game’s final basket to finish off the 36-20 Lady Raider victory.

“It wasn’t pretty but the girls played hard and we found a way to get the win,” concluded the Lady Raider head coach. “It was a physical game on both ends of the floor but I was proud of the way the girls competed.”

Rachel Stoller topped Wayne Trace with 17 points, eight rebounds and three steals while Troth posted seven markers, nine boards, two assists and five steals.

Other scorers for the red, white and blue were Elise Miller (four), Christina Graham (three), Abby Moore (two), Ava Zartman (two) and Harper Myers (one). Moore added five rebounds and four steals with Graham recording four boards and four steals for Wayne Trace, which improves to 5-6 on the season.

Stolly paced Lima Central Catholic with ten points, four rebounds and three steals while Mulcahy had six points and three rebounds. Allison Young and Anna Wannemacher picked up two points for the Lady Thunderbirds, who fall to 4-9.

Aubrey Frankhouser recorded seven rebounds for Lima Central Catholic with Young and Wannemacher getting four each. Katie Cox also had five boards for the Lady Thunderbirds.

Wayne Trace returns to action on Thursday as the Lady Raiders visit Paulding County rival Antwerp for a Green Meadows Conference battle.