DEFIANCE - Two big runs proved to be the difference Tuesday night at Defiance High School as the Wayne Trace Lady Raiders opened the girls basketball season with a 55-44 win over the Bulldogs.

The two teams were even for the most part in the opening eight minutes of action as a Carlee Smiddy basket helped Defiance take a 9-8 advantage.

Wayne Trace, though, closed out the first quarter with a Katrina Stoller basket and a Claire Sinn three-pointer to grab a 13-9 lead entering the second stanza.

“I thought we played some solid minutes tonight,” noted Manriquez. “The first quarter was a good quarter for us and we were right with them throughout the first quarter. However, they put together a little run there in the second quarter and that is where we need to become more consistent and limit those.”

“It was the first game of our season and I thought we played like that at times,” noted Raider head coach Bethany DeJarnett. “Overall, though, we played pretty well for the better part of 2-1/2 quarters, especially with our youth. I was pleased with the overall effort tonight.”

After a basket by Wayne Trace’s Claire Sinn and a free throw from Defiance’s Selena Garcia made it 15-10 Raiders, the red, white and blue scored eight straight points to take control.

A three-pointer and basket by Claire Sinn, a bucket from Katrina Stoller and a Rachel Stoller free throw pushed the Wayne Trace lead to 23-10.

Two buckets by Katrina Stoller and a foul shot each by Claire Sinn and Gracie Shepherd extended the lead to 29-14 at the midway point.

Wayne Trace took advantage of an effective zone defense that forced Defiance into six turnovers and limited the Bulldogs to two of eight shooting in the quarter.

“We need to be able to step up and make shots against a zone defense and we didn’t do that tonight,” continued Manriquez. “That is something we are working on and will continue to work on.”

“Our zone defense was aggressive and was able to generate some turnovers for us,” DeJarnett commented.

Defiance made a run early in the third quarter as Smiddy and Jordan Davis each picked up baskets to close the Bulldog deficit to 29-19.

The Lady Raiders, though, responded with a 14-0 run that extended the margin to 43-19 with 2:08 left in the third quarter.

Katrina Stoller had six points in the run and Shepherd added five as Wayne Trace took control of the contest.

“We talked about attacking the zone at halftime and we were able to get a couple of early baskets there in the third quarter,” Manriquez said. “But, then we give up that big run where Wayne Trace took advantage of opportunities.”

Defiance did bounce back in the fourth quarter as the Bulldog defense stepped up to force nine Raider turnovers and the Defiance offense scored 20 points.

The Lady Bulldogs closed within 51-38 on a Davis basket with 3:18 left in the contest but Wayne Trace would hold on from there.

“We will take away the effort there in the fourth quarter and build on that,” closed Manriquez. “We have a little bit of a break here with the holiday and we don’t play again until next Thursday. So, we will look to build on that fourth quarter and improve in some areas.”

Katrina Stoller led all scorers for Wayne Trace with 20 points and four assists while Claire Sinn added 18 markers, eight rebounds and five steals. Gracie Shepherd chipped in eight points and eight rebounds.

Smiddy topped Defiance with 15 points and nine rebounds with Jordan Davis posting ten points, seven steals and five rebounds.

Wayne Trace also captured the junior varsity contest with a 27-22 win over the Bulldogs.

Abby Moore had ten points and five rebounds to top the Lady Raider efforts with Kenadie Daeger picking up eight points and seven boards.

Kinley Maynard scored nine points while adding four steals and four rebounds to lead Defiance. Mira Horvath bucketed seven markers and hauled down a dozen boards for the Bulldogs.

Wayne Trace returns to action on Tuesday as the Lady Raiders visit Bryan in a non-league battle.