By Lenny Sementi
Sophia Kremitzki led a balanced Lady Warrior offensive attack that put four girls in double-digits in a 55-43 Central Illinois Conference victory over a very strong Decatur St. Teresa squad on Monday, February 22. The junior checked in with a team and season-best 14 points in the contest connecting on 6 of 10 from the field including a pair of threes.
“We knew how good St Teresa was going in, especially with one of the area’s best players (Addison Newbon),” stated Warrior coach Tim Kohlbecker. “We played well for three quarters and we shot the ball well, especially Sophie.”
Just one point back and Joining her on the upper plateau was sophomore Ella Boyer with 13 points, Marissa Russo with 12 points and Brynn Tabeling with 11 points. Russo also was a beast on the boards turning in her second double-double in the last three games hauling in a game-high 12 rebounds.
Tuscola ran out to a nine point advantage after one and kept the status quo at the end of two despite a ten-point outburst by Newbon. Coach K looked to Kremitzki in the third and the junior answered with six points and ten total in the second half. Russo joined the party pounding the paint twice for buckets following feeds from Tabeling. She also hit a three in the frame leading to a 45-23 Warrior advantage heading to the fourth. The senior guard led all with six assists while she also swiped three steals. And, speaking of takeaways Hope Dietrich found her way to a game-high seven steals grabbing two in the final few minutes of the contest.
“They made an offensive adjustment in the fourth putting Newbon under the hoop and it seemed like we gave a lot of and one’s in the second half and they clawed their way back into it. To our girls credit, we responded and won going away. Great to see the balanced scoring and Sophie’s confidence growing.”
They backed it up two nights later with a dominating defensive effort against Central A&M. Kremitzki voyaged outside the arc twice for threes in the first and sophomore Ella Boyer added one of her own fueling an early ten-point Warrior run all leading to an 11-point lead at the half 23-12. They never looked back, extending it to 15 points after the third and cruised home to a 20-point 45-25 CIC victory.
Kohlbeckers crew gave up just two field goals after the break and five total in the game.
Kremitzki, Russo and Tabeling all donated a team-best ten points to the cause. Russo joined with senior classmate Laney Cummings crashing the boards for a combined 15 boards grabbing eight and seven respectively. Boyer checked in with eight points falling just shy of double-digits and Dietrich tallied five, including a three ball in the third.
“It’s always a struggle with A&M,” the coach said. “We came out shooting well and again had balanced scoring and a high percentage of assists on field goals. Defensively the girls executed the game plan and held their best offensive player to two field goals.”