MATTHIAS LEGUIRE / for The Courier
Findlay High School’s Isaiah Moore (3) goes up for a layup between Elida’s Logan Johnson, right, and Ja’Quan Moore, left, during Saturday’s nonconference game at the Elida Fieldhouse.

By DAVE HANNEMAN

Staff Writer

ELIDA — Isaiah Moore has been the quiet man in Findlay High’s starting lineup much of the season.

Saturday night at Elida, the junior guard had something to say.

Moore scored a career-high 12 points and spearheaded a strong defensive effort by the Trojans as Findlay completed a weekend sweep by beating Elida 68-46 in a nonleague matchup at the Fieldhouse.

“I thought Zay did a great job,” said Findlay High coach Jim Rucki.

“Elida runs some really good stuff. We felt if we got good ball pressure it might open things for us to take advantage of their mistakes and Zay did a good job pressuring the ball.

“He set the tone defensively right from the start. He has quick feet and active hands and he made things happen.”

Four of Moore’s five baskets came on transition layups after he picked an Elida player’s pocket of the ball. Ten of his 12 points came in the second half when Findlay outscored Elida 40-29.

R.J. Nunn pumped in 21 points and Ryan Roth had 17. Freshman Max Roth came off the bench and had six points and seven rebounds and teamed with Moore to help offset an unusually low-scoring game by 6-5 sophomore A.J. Adams, who is averaging 18 points a game but was held to five on Saturday.

“A.J. was sick today, so we knew we needed to get something from somebody else,” Rucki said.

“Zay did that, and Max contributed too. We needed that.”

Findlay opened the game with 3-pointers from Ryan Roth and Nunn and ended it with Ryan Roth drilling two more treys. When Ben Howard converted an offensive rebound to open the second quarter, Findlay had surged to a 22-9 lead that waned a bit in the second quarter, then grew again in the second half.

“(Findlay) has the ability to play fast, get shots up quick and score in bunches. That’s how they got those spurts to get ahead early,” said Elida coach Denny Thompson.

“They can also take the air out of the ball and work it, and they did both of those things to us tonight.”

Dante Wheeler, a 6-6 sophomore, came off the bench to score a team-high 13 points for Elida. Max Parker added 11 points for the Bulldogs (10-9).

Findlay improved to 13-7 and possibly improved its tournament seeding with the weekend sweep.

“We talked about just finishing the weekend strong,” Rucki said of the Trojans, who knocked off a 14-4 Toledo St. Francis team on Friday.

“We were worried about these guys (Elida). They have a couple of nice players, they’re well-coached, they always play hard … Our kids played well, though. They did what they needed to do to get it done.”

Findlay wraps up the regular season with Three Rivers Athletic Conference road games at Lima Senior on Friday and at Toledo St. John’s on Feb. 22.

In Saturday’s opener, Findlay erased a five-point deficit with an 8-0 run in the fourth quarter and held on to beat Elida’s junior varsity, 48-45 and improve to 15-5 on the season.

FINDLAY (13-7)

Moore 5-6 2-4 12, R. Roth 5-13 3-4 17, Nunn 8-14 3-3 21, Adams 1-4 3-5 5, Strzempka 1-2 0-0 2 , M. Roth 3-4 0-0 6, C. Stillings 1-2 0-0 2, Howard 1-3 1-2 3, R. Stillings 0-0 0-0 0, Murphy 0-0 0-0 0, Chappell 0-0 0-0 0, Ankney 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 15-43 9-18–46.

ELIDA (10-9)

Buetner 206 0-0 6, Parker 2-4 6-8 11, Unruh 1-6 0-4 3, Johnson 1-3 0-0 2, Moore 3-6 1-3 8, Biglow 0-3 0-0 0, Wheeler 5-8 2-3 13, Brockert 1-6 0-0 3. TOTALS: 25-49 12-17–68.

Findlay 20 8 21 19 — 68

Elida 9 8 16 13 — 46

3-Point GOALS: Findlay 6-17 (C. Stillings 0-1, R. Roth 4-11, Nunn 2-5); Elida 7-20 (Buetner 2-2, Biglow 0-3, Wheeler 1-4, Parker 12-1, Unruh 1-4, Moore 1-3, Brockert 1-3).

rebounds: Findlay 38 (Strzempka 7, M. Roth 7, Moore 6); Elida 26 (Johnson 6, Buetner 5).

turnovers: Findlay 8, Elida 12.

junior varsity: Findlay, 48-45.

Hanneman, 419-427-8408

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