By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s girls’ basketball team built on its success from their championship run at the Monticello Holiday Hoopla winning the first two games of the New Year by first beating a pesky Fisher squad 41-20 in a low scoring affair this past Thursday. Then, two days later, on Saturday used a big fourth frame to get past a strong Tolono Unity squad in a defensive battle 36-27.
It was the sixth and seventh straight victory for coach Tim Kohlbecker’s group that started the run with a great win over Windsor in the third place game at the Arthur pre-Christmas Holiday Tournament and included a 4-0 effort at the Hoopla collecting Championship hardware.
Thursday, Jan. 3
Natalie Bates and Brynn Tabeling harass opposing guards, forcing mistakes and last Thursday night it was no different as the duo swiped a combined nine steals. Bates corralled seven steals anticipating errant passes forced by traps out front due to Tabeling’s quickness at the top of the zone.
“I feel we are improving week to week, and I believe we are nowhere near our ceiling,” stated Kohlbecker. “I knew Fisher was better than their record. Our defense carried the day for us, and it again starts with the harassment and pressure supplied by our guards.”
Two others that did some damage on the perimeter defensively were Grace Dietrich and Abbey Jacobs who each added two and three steals, respectively. Lexie Russo gets better in the post night in and night out. The senior battled two Lady Bunnies all night in the paint and came away with five steals. She was also strong on the boards grabbing a game high nine rebounds.
Bates added to her offensive stats as well by hitting 5 of 10 from the floor on her way to a game high 12 points. She also led all in assists dishing out five, three times finding Russo down low. Russo and her sister Marissa each donated seven points, while Tabeling and Dietrich combined for nine points.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Jan. 9 edition of The Tuscola Journal.