By Lenny Sementi
Lexie Russo, Brynn Tabeling, and the ladies in black and gold gave head girls’ basketball coach Tim Kohlbecker an early Christmas season by delivering a lopsided 44-15 victory over Shelbyville in their opening round game of the Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond Christmas Invite.
Coach K’s crew slapped the hand cuffs on the Lady Rams last Friday allowing just three field goals in the first half and five total in the game to move to 1-0 in the tourney and 7-4 on the season.
Russo led all with a game and season high 14 points on a near perfect night shooting. The senior forward was good on 4 of 4 from the field and 6 of 7 from the free throw line.
“Lex was strong for us in the scoring department, but more importantly she had a great game on the boards,” Kohlbecker commented.
Tabeling was next up on the scoring list with eight points on 4 of 7 shooting, six of which came in the pivotal first half. She appeared everywhere on the defensive end, forcing 10 turnovers on her own en-route to a game and season high seven steals. She also found Russo twice in the first half on buckets while the duo led the way on the boards with Russo grabbing a game high nine rebounds and Tabeling corralling four rebounds of her own.
Coach K. was all smiles as the Warriors put eight players in the scoring column in the first 16 minutes of the game allowing him to rest players for a double-header date with Blue Ridge and the host Lady Knights on day two of the tournament. They were good on just 40 percent of their shots despite a 1 for 9 effort from beyond the arc, connecting on nearly 50-percent from inside the three point line.
“We were trying a few new defensive wrinkles in this game so I could get a look at them on film,” stated the coach. “In the second half we made a slight adjustment offensively and the girls were able to execute it very well. We are improving game in and game out, and it starts with the defensive pressure out front by Brynn and Natalie.”
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Dec. 26 edition of The Tuscola Journal.