By Lenny Sementi
Head Tuscola girls basketball coach Tim Kohlbecker’s squads are always known for their endless effort and physicality on defense and this years’ team is no different. The Lady Warriors put three players on to the double-digit plateau but like always it was a smothering defense that stirred the pot producing twenty-three steals and over thirty turnovers in a 45-29 Central Illinois Conference victory.
Sophie Kremitzki led the way in the points column. The sophomore netted fourteen points hitting three of six shots from three-point land. She also secured four rebounds and swiped three of the Lady Warriors twenty-three steals in the game. Next up were Hope Dietrich and Brynn Tabeling. The juniors each accounted for ten points in the contest. Tabeling was everywhere on defense tallying a career-best eleven steals to post a double-double the hard way while Dietrich notched five rebounds. Marissa Russo was a right behind checking in with eight points on four of seven from the line, three steals, and a team-best eight rebounds in a well-rounded effort.
“We had a solid showing tonight, anytime you hold a team under thirty points you have done a great job on the defensive end,” stated the coach. “The girls forced a lot of turnovers and also shared the ball. We ended with over twenty steals and double-digit assists. Sophie and Hope continue to show increased confidence with the ball in their hands.”
Kremitzki hit a pair of threes in the opening frame and Dietrich came up big underneath the hoop for a bucket helping hand coach K. a one point advantage at the first buzzer up 11-10. They added to the lead in the second entering the break on top 21-14 thanks to a pair of baskets by Russo down low and a big effort on defense limiting the Lady Hawks to one field goal and just four points.
After the break Kremitzki sandwiched a three between two ten-footers and once more Tuscola limited their hosts to under ten taking a 34-21 lead into the final eight minutes of the evening. Dietrich and Tabeling slammed the door shut on the win with a combined eleven points scoring all the Warriors points in the last stanza. Tabeling drained a three early and scored five points in the period while Dietrich scored six points on three buckets to seal the deal on win number sixteen on the year.
Mike Rosenbaum’s JV crew continued its unbeaten tour of central Illinois dominating the Lady Hawks 35-15 in the prelim. Maddie Stahler had twelve points, including a three. Laney Cummings hit a three as well in the game on her way to seven points while Marley Good and Isabelle Wilcox each delivered five to the mix.