BOTKINS — With an 11-4 start, the New Bremen Cardinals team were able to run the floor and eventually defeat the Botkins Trojans, 60-33, Monday evening in a non-league varsity girls basketball game played at Botkins High School.
“Getting out to a fast start was one of the things we talked about,” Cardinals varsity coach Chris Burden said. “The last two road games we didn’t get off to very good starts, but especially on the road it is critical to get off to a good start and we did that tonight.”
The Cardinals had three players score in double figures in the game with Rosie Westerbeck scoring 20 points and had six rebounds. Alyse Clune and Janelle Elking each had 11 points in the game. Kayla Heuker was the lone Trojan in double figures with 10 points and four rebounds.
“They jumped out on us early,” Botkins varsity coach Don Mack said. “We also lost a point guard and had two other players run into each other and also another player to a knee injury. They are starting to drop like flies.”
Botkins sophomore starter Natalie Ambos left Monday’s game with a knee injury.
It is unknown the severity of the injury but Mack said Monday night it did not appear to be one involving her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), one that is dreaded in sports due to its time of recovery.
The Trojans are down to nine healthy players in the entire high school after Monday’s contest.
The school will be not be playing junior varsity games indefinitely.
In the first quarter the Cardinals gained the 11-4 advantage but Botkins closed the gap to 13-8 but New Bremen went on a 9-3 run to end the quarter with a 20-11 lead after eight minutes of play.
“One of our keys tonight was to run the floor,” Burden said. “We wanted to get the ball and get out and run the floor. I thought we did that. We were able to run the floor and get some easy baskets and wear them down a little bit as the game went on.”
In the second quarter New Bremen started to convert some three-point baskets and built a double digit lead at 27-15 with 4:57 left on a trey from Alyse Clune. With 3:25 left Janell Elking converted a free throw to double the score at 30-15. Clune added another bomb with 2:33 left to increase the lead to 35-16 and led by 41-18 at halftime.
The Cardinals were five of eight from the three point line while the Trojans didn’t convert a three.
“They shot the ball well,” Mack said. “They hit some three-point shots that I’m not sure how they went in but they did.”
“When you can hit from behind the arc it opens so many other things for you,” Burden said. “That was a credit to our girls and when they saw the chance they hit them.”
New Bremen continued to gain ground on Botkins in the second half as they outscored the Trojans 11-7 in the third which ended on a triple Westerbeck at the end of the quarter for a 52-25 lead.
In the fourth quarter New Bremen increased the lead to 30 points at 60-30 on a free throw from Ali Howell with 1:50 left. Mikayla Place hit a free throw with 1:20 left and Mackenzie Brown hit a basket to account for the 60-33 final.
The Trojans had 26 turnovers to the Cardinals’ 22.
“Turnovers were one other thing we talked about,” Burden said. “A lot of it is that we didn’t see a lot of zone in the first four games and sometimes you catch the ball and assume that the person on the backside is open but she is covered and we just have to be more solid with the basketball.”