By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s girls have a big opportunity in front of them as the host school of the Central Illinois Conference Tournament this week and the second seeded Lady Warriors started their hunt for the title in dominating fashion this past Saturday. Assistant coach Mike Rosenbaum was at the helm of the 61-24 opening round conquest filling in for Tim Kohlbecker in the short term.
Threes were the preferred weapon for the black and gold hitting a ten with four coming in a 20 point first quarter outburst. Ella Boyer connected on three in the first eight minutes and Taylor Musgrave stepped outside the arc for one as well as the Warriors ran out to a 20-5 lead by the first buzzer. Boyer ended her night with 14 points on four of eight from the field all of which were from three point land while Musgrave donated eight points to the cause.
“Got off to a great start hitting shots from the outside, which forced Meridian’s hand,” stated Rosenbaum. “By spreading out their defense, it opened up gaps on the inside for us to be able to attack off the dribble or off of a post-up. Another key to victory was how balanced and spread out our other contributions were. The fact we got 18 points off of our bench last night was huge, and it didn’t allow Meridian to key on any one person. Fantastic way to start the conference tourney up, and gives us some confidence heading into Tuesday.”
They upped the ante in the second stanza on the back of a pair of three’s from Sophie Kremitzki leading to a 22 point 33-11 advantage at the break. The senior sharp shooter was good on three of her four attempts from downtown on her way to a game-high 19 points. She connected on four of five from the line and grabbed six rebounds and slammed the door on the win with a two for two effort on three’s in the early stages of the fourth quarter.
Harley Woodard also banged down low, collecting six boards of her own, three offensive. She was also tied at the top of steals list with Sidney Moss. The duo each accounted for four in the game. Moss added seven points to her season stat in addition to her defensive effort. Freshman Ava Boyer was number one in the assists department distributing five off the bench.