By Lenny Sementi
Head girl’s basketball coach Tim Kohlbecker’s squad entered Monticello’s Holiday Hoopla Tournament the day after Christmas on a two-game win streak and increased it to four before near misses in their final two contests of the tourney. The Lady Warriors broke even going two and two in the three day skirmish upending Gibson City and Stark County on the day one of pool play before falling to the host Sages on day two in the pool and a strong Paxton Buckley Loda squad in the third place game on Saturday the 28th.
“Three of the four teams in our pool were very evenly matched,” commented Kohlbecker. “We got to the rim late and which also got us to the free throw line and outscored Stark County 18-10 in the fourth quarter enabling us to pull out the win.”
Brynn Tabeling led the way on offense averaging twelve points scoring forty-nine points garnering the speedy guard all tourney team honors. She also dished out nearly four assists a game, grabbed ten rebounds and found her way to a team-best fifteen steals. Her best game was the last scoring nineteen points in the 60-53 loss to PBL in the metal round.
“We started off very well offensively against PBL but later in the game didn’t get out on perimeter shooters and the three ball killed us,” Kohlbecker said. “I partly blame myself for switching defenses. We got down by as many as thirteen points but again the character and fight of this team got us back to within five points, they made free throws late to seal the deal.”
Tabeling also found double digits in the win over a physical Stark County team adding fifteen points to the team totals. Abbey Jacob hit a pivotal three in the second frame and had a pair of steals early in the third that led to points.
Marissa Russo was big in second pool game as well donating a tourney-high seventeen points to the cause. The Warriors post was one point behind Tabeling scoring forty-eight points in the four game swing while grabbing just over four rebounds a game. It was Sophie Kremitzki scored ten points in the contest and twelve points in the blow out win over GCMS in the opener. She scored six points early in the contest as Kohlbecker’s crew ran out to a 14-1 advantage after eight minutes and never looked back. The sophomore was strong on the boards for coach K. grabbing a second best eighteen boards in the tournament. Freshman Ella Boyer found her way to a tourney-best ten points verse the Lady Falcons. The first year varsity player scored thirty points overall, grabbed five steals and five rebounds while dishing out four assits.
Hope Dietrich tacked twenty boards on to her wrap sheet. The wing came up big on offense scoring a career-best nineteen points in the tough 49-40 loss to Monticello in the final pool play game. She was good on eight of nine from the field, drained her only attempted three and hit two of three from the line. Tabeling was next in line vs. the Sages with nine points and Russo checked in with eight points as the Warriors saw only four players earn a spot in the scoring column.
“I challenged Hope before the game and she responded with her best game of the year,” stated the coach. “We need that from her consistently, other than her we struggled offensively and they made some shots in the second half which led to the loss. Overall, we got a lot of minutes for a lot of players in the four game,” stated the coach. “We saw a lot of positives, but our defense has to improve for us to be more successful and we need to work on communicating, focus and anticipating. And need to be more reactive and not proactive.”