GRIFFITH | With a four-point halftime lead, Wheeler girls basketball coach Dustin Nelson told his team to work around the tough Griffith defense and try to shoot from inside.
Instead, the Bearcats took shot after shot that refused to drop while Griffith took the lead.
Times No. 9 Griffith out-scored No. 6 Wheeler by 13 points in the second half to win 31-22 Tuesday night.
The Bearcats (0-2) were held scoreless for 14 minutes, 51 seconds, the entire third quarter and more than half of the fourth.
"Even in the second half we were able to get the shots we wanted, but the ball stopped falling," Nelson said. "I've said it again and again, there are no red flags as far as this team goes. By the time we hit conference, we'll be OK."
The Panthers (2-1) held Nickole Finch, Wheeler's top scorer, to six points on two 3s in the second quarter. Taylor Austin, who was tabbed to guard Finch, came up with five steals.
"We talked about knowing where Nickole Finch was on the floor," Griffith coach Tom Golumbeck said. "Taylor did a great job on her. Taylor is a good defensive player and we tried to give her a lot of help."
The Panthers took advantage of Wheeler's misfortune offensively with a nine-point third quarter led by four points from Emma Blackard. Griffith went on a 15-0 run over the nearly scoreless 15 minutes by Wheeler.
"We seemed to have a tough time shooting in the first half," said Golumbeck as his team went 4-for-16 over the first two quarters. "Luckily we were able to get that back in the second half."
Courtney Bell led the Panthers with eight points and Lisette Roldan had seven rebounds.
Wheeler had three players with six points each: Shannon Eden, Mackenzie Schoon and Finch.
"I like what our defense did," Nelson said. "If we can hold teams to 31 points all year long, I like our team."