By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s girls basketball team came up on the wrong side of a defensive showdown falling to a good St Teresa 41-29. It was the lowest offensive output of the season for coach Tim Kohlbeker’s squad as the rims never heated up for the visiting Warriors shooting a season low twenty percent converting just nine of forty-three from the field.
“Offensively we had good looks but just could not knock shots down,” commented Kohlbecker. “Defensively we were ok except against their point guard at times. We allowed her to beat us off the dribble, get into the lane, and score or create shots.”
Brynn Tabeling was at the top of the scoring list for coach K. adding eight points to her season stat line thanks to a six for six outing at the free throw line. The speedy guard turned in a well-rounded effort collecting four rebounds and four steals while dishing out a team-best four assists. Marissa Russo was two points back tallying seven points but led the way on the boards collecting eight rebounds. Hope Dietrich secured eight rebounds also and donated four points to the offensive output.
Hope Dietrich was the only Tuscola player to score from the floor in the opening period as both teams struggled to score early. A five-point St. T run late in the frame proved to be the difference at the first buzzer with the Lady Bulldogs taking a 9-3 lead into the second. Brynn Tabeling hit an early runner in the second stanza and Lainey Cummings drained a three but that was it for the Warriors as the scoring struggles continued. St. T however broke it open putting fourteen points more on the board increasing its lead to fifteen points heading to the break in front 23-8.
Ella Boyer followed Cummings lead with a three of her own in the third but just like in the first half Tuscola was unable to close the gap. The ball continued to bounce the wrong way off the rim leading to an eighteen point Lady Bulldog advantage entering the final eight minutes of action in front 33-15. Russo finally broke through scoring all six of her points in during a four-minute span early in the final frame on a pair of buckets and two free throws. Maddie Stahler followed with two baskets but a fourteen-point frame by the Warriors was not enough as St. T notched the Central Illinois Conference victory.
“We have to improve at keeping the ball in front of us on defense, and offensively we need to be more patient and play with confidence as a group,” stated the coach. “Once again turnovers were an issue, fifteen in the first half put us behind the eight ball. We made our comeback by taking care of the ball better in the second but they were to far out in front for us to finish the deal late.”
The Warriors JV kept first year coach Mike Rosenbaum perfect at 13-0 in his career with a 35-26 win the in prelim. Stahler and Hannah Hornaday led the charge with eleven points each. Cummings and Boyer each tallied four points with limited minutes late in the game but Marley Good picked up the slack hitting a three ball in fourth frame to help seal the deal.