By Lenny Sementi
Cassie Russo turned in a well-rounded stat sheet this past Tuesday, Dec. 18 while roughing the Cerro Gordo Lady Broncos on their own floor for a 50-22 Warrior win.
The senior post dropped a game and season high 18 points on the home squad on 8 of 10 from the field and 2 of 2 from the line. She didn’t stop there recording a double double, grabbing a game high 12 rebounds in the contest. Russo also donated a pair of steals and assists to the cause helping to move the Lady Warriors to 9-1 on the year and 3-0 in the conference.
“Cassie had the type of game we have come to expect from her,” stated coach Tim Kohlbecker. “She was very efficient with 18 points and 12 rebounds and only missed twice.”
Russo dominated the paint in the opening frame hitting all three of her shots and also found her way to the line for both ends of a one and one scoring eight points in the first six minutes of the contest. Classmate Alexis Koester did some damage outside the arc with an early three as well, and Natalie Bates and Lexie Russo each had a bucket as the Warriors went on a 16-0 run to open the contest holding the Broncos to zero in the first frame.
Coach K looked to his bench in the second stanza and Ashton Smith and Brynn Tabeling responded with a bucket each as the Warriors kept the status quo entering the break still in front by double digits 25-11. The third quarter was once more owned by Russo who single-handedly outscored the Broncos by eight donating 10 points to the cause in the period all but ending any hopes of a comeback. Smith and Grace Dietrich took advantage of the extra attention Russo garnered in the lane. Each found the bottom of the net from outside the arc late in the frame increasing the lead to 32 entering the final eight minutes of the game on 46-14.
Behind Russo in the scorebook for Tuscola was her sister Lexie with eight points followed by Bates with six. The two juniors also grabbed six boards apiece while Tabeling led in the assist department dishing out four off the bench.
“Natalie has not scored for us much lately, but what she does for this team is reflected in her stat line,” stated the coach. “Six points, five rebounds, three steals, two assists and only two turnovers, and I swear she gets to every loose ball on the court, and her on the ball defense is exceptional.”
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Dec. 27 edition of The Tuscola Journal.