By Lenny Sementi
Head girls basketball coach Tim Kohlbecker opened one gift a few days early. The Lady Warriors gift wrapped a pair of wins in the week preceding Christmas up ending a good University High team on the road Thursday, December 19 55-34 and then dominated Okaw Valley a few days early 52-22 in another non-league game.
Juniors Marissa Russo and Brynn Tabeling put the bow on top scoring a combined fifty-one points in the two games wrapping up a four game win streak improving the squads record to 6-3 overall and 2-0 in the Central Illinois conference. Russo doubled up in the weeks opener verse the Illineks scoring a game and career-high twenty points on ten of fifteen from the floor while also grabbing a game-high twelve rebounds. She scored at least four points in every frame and kicked it up in the second and third adding six points to the team totals.
Hope Dietrich scored all six of her points outside the arc hitting both attempts. She hit an early three that proved to be the difference at the end of first quarter of action as the Warriors took an 11-8 lead into the second. Tabeling did the majority in the second scoring eight of her fourteen points in the period answering a pair Uni threes with two of her own helping the visitors take an eleven-point lead into the break 32-21. The junior guard was good on two of four from long range, dished out six assists and swiped five steals. Senior Grace Voyles donated the lead as well hitting a three of her own midway thru the frame.
The two teams traded points in the third entering the fourth with coach K’s crew still in front 40-29. Dietrich drained her second three of the game in the final stanza fueling a fifteen-point outburst securing the victory for Tuscola. The junior showcased her athletic ability delivering eight rebounds, six steals and two assists outside of the scoring column.
Defense was the catalyst in the win over Okaw Valley as the Warriors limited the Timber Wolves to two points and no field goals in the first quarter and just nine points total in first half. Only one player from Okaw Valley tallied more than two points in the game.
Tabeling delivered early in the blowout win sinking a three four minutes into the game while scoring five of her ten points in the first frame. She was solid in every aspect also donating seven steals, seven assists and four rebounds to the cause. Russo posted a solid stat line of her own that included a game-high nine rebounds, seven points and five steals.
After the break it was juniors Hope Dietrich, Hannah Hornaday and the young guns freshman Ella Boyer and sophomore Sophie Kremitzki. Dietrich was big on defense securing a game-high eight steals and also provided offense after the break scoring all of her six points in the first five minutes of the third quarter. Hornaday found her way to a bucket in third and fourth opening up the floor for Boyer and Kremitzki both of which reached the double-digit plateau.
Boyer scored a career-best thirteen points all in the second half on a near perfect five of seven from the field draining both attempts from beyond the three point line. She also took one of her three steals coast to coast for a bucket. Kremitzki hit a three ball early in the final stanza punctuating a ten-point effort in the game with six points in the fourth.