CASTALIA, Ohio -- After a scheduling carousel due to COVID-19, the Margaretta Bears and Shelby Whippets finally had a chance to meet. With both programs coming off of successful 2019-2020 seasons, this one looked great on paper. The Whippets entered the game as favorites to win the MOAC and the Bears are a top small school team in the state.
After a slow start, Margaretta maintained control of the game for three quarters leading 15-9, 29-20 and 43-32. The Whippets struggled on the defensive glass due mostly to the efforts of Devyne Eisenhauer and Kylie Leibacher. The Bears maintained the tempo of the game thanks to seasoned point guard Elliana Schaefer.
In the fourth quarter, Shelby rallied to pull within 4 points led by the shooting of Olivia Baker and defensive efforts of Haylee Baker, Sophie Niese and Audi Albert. However, the effort came up short as Margaretta prevailed 56-48.
The Bears were led by Schaefer with 18 and Eisenhauer and Leibacher with 12 each.
The Whippets noticed double digit efforts from O. Baker with 20 and Albert with 11. Margaretta now claims a 2-0 record as Shelby drops to 0-1.
Let’s take a look at some of today’s top performers.
Elliana Schaefer (PG/ G / Margaretta / 2021) - Schaefer is a smooth, composed point guard. She is a true floor general and makes her teammates better. Elliana is the best defender in the gym, consistently pressuring the ball. She can get to the basket and finish with both hands. Schaefer will play a HUGE role for one the the top small schools in the state.
Devyne Eisenhauer (F / Margaretta / 2022) - Eisenhauer is a knock down shooter from midrange and in, especially from the baseline. She is the best rebounder for the Bears and is constantly giving them extra possessions. Against an undersized Shelby team, Devyne dominated inside.
Kylie Leibacher (W/ F / Margaretta / 2023) - The long sophomore has a quick, smooth release and shoots a high percentage from midrange and three. She is a decent ball handler and is a monster on the offensive boards. Kylie, who has several D1 offers, has lots of potential heading into her sophomore year while making a big impact on both ends of the floor for the Bears.
Sophie Niese (PG / Shelby / 2022) - Niese might be small but she has huge upside. This kid knows how to play ball and has a high basketball IQ. Sophie handles the ball well under pressure and distributes well. Niese’s stock could rise if she were to start shooting the ball a bit more. She is the heart and soul of the Whippets.
Olivia Baker (G / Shelby / 2022) - Baker struggled early with foul trouble but found her stride midway through the game. She has a great catch and shoot three point shot but can create opportunities off the dribble. As a junior, Baker already holds an offer from West Liberty. She will be the go-to player for the Whippets this season.
Audi Albert (G/ F / Shelby /2023) - Albert joins a talented varsity squad as a sophomore after seeing minimal floor time as a freshman. She is a shifty lefty who finishes well at the rim and plays a huge role in transition for Shelby. Albert is unbelievably athletic, is fun to watch and has unlimited potential.