By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s girls basketball team gave up less than 22 points a game and found their groove on offense this celebrating their Thanksgiving week with a runner up finish at the Oakwood Thanksgiving classic. The Lady Warriors slammed the door on the defensive end of the floor giving up just 91 points in the four game tourney while scoring 207 of their own.
Coach Tim Kohlbecker’s squad opened pool play with a dominating 52-9 win over Martinsville. Harley Woodard and Isabelle Wilcox came out firing, scoring a combined 15 points in the first frame as the Warriors ran out to a 23-0 lead after one. Wilcox led all with 11 points while Woodard scored ten of her own. Sophie Kremitzki and Sydney Moss were next up with eight points each, followed by Ella Boyer who ended her night with six points on a pair of threes. Boyer and Kremitzki pushed the pace on defense, combining for 12 steals in the contest.
“Not much to say,” commented Kohlbecker following the game. “Our kids play hard no matter the opponent. This game allowed us to spend possessions working our sets and ball movement.”
It was more of the same in game two of pool play action with the Warriors steam rolling past Casey 56-5 never giving up more than two points in any one quarter. Tuscola opened up a 22-2 advantage after one, increased it to 43-4 by the break and never looked back. Boyer led all with 17 points. Kremitzki was next tallying 13 points while hauling in seven boards and dishing out four assists. Taylor Musgrave shined on defense, swiping ten steals and also added to the scoring totals with eight points on the evening. Woodard ended her night with nine points and six rebounds and Moss tossed six points into the mix as well.
“Our pressure was effective against Casey early,” Kohlbecker stated. “We’re getting a lot of energy and intensity from Taylor and Ella on the defensive end, they disrupted their guards and made it tough for them to run an offense. We are improving as a team. Games like this are important for confidence and experience.”
The day before Thanksgiving they took down the host Lady Comets once more limiting the opposition’s offense turning steals into instant offense in transition. They doubled the Comets scoring outputs in both the first and second frames entering the half on top 30-14 ultimately cruising to a 56-22 victory securing their spot in the finals. Woodard and Moss were both one board shy of a double double checking in with 12 points and 14 points respectively. Kremitzki reached the double-digit as well, donating 12 points and Boyer did her share of the damage at the line with an eight for ten effort from the charity stripe en-route to a ten-point effort. Maddie Stahler set the tone early stepping outside the arc for a three adding five points to the stat sheet.
“Sophie is playing well in all aspects of the game, one more we played very hard from start to finish,” Kohlbecker eluded. “We learned in this game that we have nine players that are all battling for more time on the floor.”
It was a knock down drag out in the championship game with Tri-County as the teams traded leads throughout the entire 48 minutes. The Lady Titans were able to break a 41 all tie with under a minute to play and held on for a 45-41 victory. Boyer was hot early, scoring six of her team-high 11 points in the first eight minutes of action. She drained a trey early and was on target at the line making eight of ten in the game. Woodard secured a team-high seven rebounds to go with her seven points. Musgrave and Wilcox found their way to seven points as well while Kremitzki chipped in five.
“Turnovers and missed free throws cost us in the end,” Kohlbecker said. “We played well enough to win defensively and just came up short. Good news is we are getting better but have to find a way to focus better and be assignment sound. Wilcox has elevated her game to the point she needs to be on the floor. She flies around and is willing to dive for any loose ball. Taylor did a great job defensively on their best player and we count on Ella for mega minutes, we need her offense and defense.”
Sophie Kremitzki and Ella Boyer led the way on offense. The duo earned all tourney honors with Boyer tallying 44 points in the four game swing while Kremitzki added 38 to her season totals. Harley Woodard had to be a near miss on a selection donating 38 points as well to the cause. The Warrior post also led the way on the boards for the Warriors. Wilcox eclipsed the 20 point mark in the tourney while collecting more than a few floor burns.