Elida cruises into EPAC title game

By Kevin Wilson: PNT Staff Writer

The Elida Lady Tigers spent Friday afternoon filling up the stat sheet, and the team was able to fill in its name to the final game in the Eastern Plains Athletic Conference tournament.

Jewlie Paiz scored 16 points and stole eight Floyd passes and freshman guard Lindsey Bob Smith had 11 points, seven assists and a four-point play to put the exclamation point on a 57-31 win over the Lady Broncos.

Kodi Armitage had a game-high 19 points and scored the first five of the game for Elida (12-1), which never trailed and led by as much as 28 points in the fourth after blowing the game open.

Floyd (4-5) scored just one field goal in the first quarter, a Darcee Chenault 3-pointer, and 3-pointers from Paiz and Armitage helped Elida jump out to a 15-5 first quarter lead which it kept throughout with a patient half-court game and timely steals.

“Most of the night, I felt we controlled the tempo,” Elida coach Dan Howard said. “I thought Jewlie Paiz stepped up and sparked us. She really gave it all all game.”

When Paiz wasn’t creating her own scoring opportunities through steals, Smith was finding her and others.

Smith’s biggest play, however, came in the fourth. Smith took a left-wing 3-pointer and Chenault fell on her while trying to challenge the shot. After a game full of helping her teammates, Smith sought help from her teammates for the play-by-play.

“I had no idea I hit it,” Smith said. “When I got up, I had to ask somebody. I just heard the whistle.”

Smith cooly hit the free throw for the four-point play, pushing Elida’s lead to 47-27.

Between Elida’s balance and its quick start, it was a little much for Floyd to handle.

“They got on top of us early,” Floyd coach Cody May said. “They hit those threes early in the first. If they get on top of us like that, we don’t have the scoring power to get back.”

Chenault was Floyd’s only double-figure scorer with 19 points, while Kelli Johnson added seven.