Shalen Guilliams

Loudonville's Shalen Guilliams launches a 3-pointer during Tuesday's Mid-Buckeye Conference game at Mansfield Christian. Guilliams connected on eight 3-pointers and scored 30 points in Loudonville's 78-57 win

MANSFIELD — Shalen Guilliams nearly burned The Furnace to the ground Tuesday night.

Loudonville’s senior shooting guard connected on eight 3-pointers and scored 30 points as the Redbirds soared to a 78-57 win over Mansfield Christian in Mid-Buckeye Conference action Tuesday at The Furnace.

Guilliams torched the Flames for 14 points in the third quarter alone. She knocked down three treys in the period and capped the quarter with a conventional three-point play that gave Loudonville an insurmountable 65-40 advantage going to the final eight minutes.

The Redbirds (7-1 overall, 4-0 in the MBC) outscored the Flames (4-2, 2-1) 26-7 in the third period to take control in chase for the MBC title.

“Shalen did what seniors are supposed to do. It was a big league game for us and she put us on her back,” Loudonville coach Tyler Bates said. “We knew coming in here that this is one we really needed.”

It looked like the Redbirds might run away and hide in the first half. Loudonville led 15-8 after the first quarter and opened a 34-19 advantage on a pair of Guilliams free throws with 3:42 remaining in the first half. The Flames refused to go quietly, however, closing the half on a 14-5 run to slice Loudonville’s lead to 39-33 at intermission.

“The girls went out and played hard,” Mansfield Christian coach Megan Young said. “We were missing one starter and we got into a little foul trouble, which didn’t help, and Loudonville has a deeper bench than we do right now.”

The Redbirdsd' depth began to show in the second half. Loudonville continued to push the tempo at both ends of the floor and forced Mansfield Christian into 18 turnovers.

“I can’t fault how hard our girls were playing. We were competing,” Bates said. “I was happy with our defensive effort.

“We have a pretty athletic group … and that allows us to do some things from a pressure standpoint we haven’t been able to do in the past. I think our depth wore them down a little bit.”

Sophomore guard Cory Vermilya backed Guilliams with 24 points, including three 3-pointers. Jalyn Johnson connected on a pair of triples and scored 13 points, while Maddie Kline and Jenna Guilliams each had treys.

“They have three or four girls who can shoot 3-pointers. It makes them difficult to guard,” Young said. “I thought we contested a lot of their shots, but at the same time they were making them all.”

Aubrynn Maiyer led Mansfield Christian with 14 points, including two 3-pointers. Noelle Beare had 13 points while Anna Sparks added 10. Raegan Standridge and Alexis Rippel chipped in with seven points apiece.

“Mansfield Christian made some shots tonight. They had some girls step up,” Bates said. “They are getting better and better. It’s back to the drawing board for us in the second round of league play.”

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I have covered high school sports in Richland County since 2000. Email him at curt@richlandsource.com or follow him on Twitter: Follow @curtjconrad on twitter.

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