By Lenny Sementi
Coach Tim Kohlbecker’s squad forced overtime this past Monday, December 2 on the road at St Joseph Ogden against the state ranked Lady Spartans but couldn’t quite close the deal falling 50-46 in anearly season thriller. Freshman guard Ella Boyer was big in the second half for coach K scoring all of her career high eight points in the final sixteen minutes of action. She was good on three of six from the field including a pair of threes and was also instrumental on defense during a fourth quarter rally that forced the extra period.
Boyer fueled a seven-point Warrior run hitting a three to open the final stanza. She then finished off a textbook fast break set up by a Brynn Tabeling rebound, and laser beam pass by senior Abbey Jacob. And followed that up with another trey on a kick out pass from Tabeling. Sandwiched in between was a ten-footer by Jacob as the Warriors erased a 35-29 Spartan lead after three frames giving Coach K a one-point advantage with four minutes left on the clock.
From there it was back and forth affair until a late foul by the black and gold put the home squad up by three 42-39 with sixteen ticks left on the clock. Boyer rolled off a screen outside the arc drew the defense too her and then found Tabeling eight-feet away who drained a three with three seconds left to knot it at 42 sending the game to overtime.
A pair of threes in the extra period however sealed the deal for the Spartans despite buckets by Tabeling and Marissa Russo. The junior post has recorded a double-double in all four previous games and she showed no signs of slowing down delivering a game high fourteen points on seven of twelve from the floor while hauling in a game and career best fifteen rebounds against SJO. She helped the Warriors secure a one-point advantage at the break handing Kohlbecker a 20-19 lead to work with in the locker room donating two big buckets in the paint on feeds from Tabeling late in the second quarter. “Marissa continues to gain confidence and is believing in her abilities,” Kohlbecker was quoted as saying. “She had another monster game for us.”
Tabeling was solid in all aspects of the game delivering a well-rounded stat sheet that included twelve points, five steals, threeassists and one three. Sophie Kremitzki started the scoring for Tuscola with a three ball ten seconds into the contest to get the ball rolling. Jacob hit an early three as well loosening up the Spartan defense paving the way for Russo down low. Hope Dietrich came up big in the assist department dishing out a game high six assists and also found her way to the ball a few times accounting for four rebounds and three steals.
“Our girls battled a top five class 2A team in their own gym and had opportunities to win in regulation and overtime,” stated Kohlbecker. “The on the ball defense by our back court Brynn, Ella and Abbey early in the second half set the tone down the stretch. Lot of areas for us to improve in, rebounding must get better and defensively we are leaving shooters standing, often because we over rotate, but everything is correctable, so long as we keep playing with effort.”