Girls basketball: Defense keys H-L’s win over New Riegel

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By SCOTT COTTOS
SPORTS EDITOR
BASCOM — Hopewell-Loudon girls basketball coach Bob Gase went into Tuesday night’s game believing that his club would win if it limited New Riegel standout Brianna Gillig to 20 points.
Gillig scored 18. And the Chieftains stormed to a 59-35 nonconference victory.
MaKayla Elmore, a 6-foot-4 freshman, scored all of her 16 points in the second half and added 10 rebounds and four blocked shots for the night as Hopewell-Loudon upped its record to 3-1.
Gillig, a 5-9 senior, added nine rebounds, four assists, four blocked shots and two steals as the Blue Jackets fell to 2-2.
“Pretty good defense,” Gase said. “The girls stuck with what we wanted to do and (assistant) coach (Junior) Coffman came through in flying colors.”
Coffman devises the defensive game plans for the Chieftains, and priority No. 1 in facing New Riegel was to keep Gillig, who moved into third place on her school’s career scoring list with 1,219 points, under control.
Though Gillig faces a variety of defensive schemes through the course of a season, Gase said his team did “nothing special.”
“She’s good,” Gase said. “We wanted to make her try to shoot over the top of us when she shot from the outside and then try to get some help when she went to the basket. We were more focused on making sure we held the other ones down. That’s why we went to a man (to-man defense) against them, so they didn’t get any free looks.”
Blue Jackets coach Cindy Walerius said her team turned in a generally subpar performance.
“They got so many seconds shots and we just stood and watched it,” she said. “We didn’t handle the ball well. We made poor decisions, offensively, with the ball. And then defensively, we got our eyes glued on the ball and in our zone we were letting their cutters come through without jamming them at all.
“That first half, I think, really could have gone in our favor if would have just covered up the cutters coming through. And then we took some bad shots. We just weren’t set on some shots; we were forcing some shots. Against their pressure, I think we dribbled too much. We needed to diagonal pass, diagonal pass and get the layup. But we just didn’t see that tonight.”
Kenadee Siebenaller hit a 3-pointer while scoring the second quarter’s first seven points and freshman point guard Olivia Zender then stole the ball and cashed in a layup as H-L went ahead 15-5.
The Chieftains never trailed from that point on.
After leading 21-15 at halftime, Elmore scored her first eight points and Emily Pace tossed in six in the third quarter as Hopewell-Loudon put the game firmly under control at 40-22.
The Chieftains bounced back well after last Thursday’s 51-43 loss to Arlington in which they squandered a 10-point halftime lead.
“When I looked at the schedule, I said if we were 3-1 after the first four games, I would be happy,” Gase said. “But you know me — I want to win them all.
“But we finished tonight. We came out and played a decent third quarter and then we finished the game. We didn’t finish the game against Arlington, and tonight we finished. So, that makes me happy.”
Hailey Coppus made a pair of 3-pointers on her way to 12 points for H-L. Siebenaller and Jacque Burns scored 10 apiece, with Siebenaller knocking down a pair of treys. Burns also handed out five assists and Zender made four steals.
NEW RIEGEL (2-2)
Coleman 3-0–6, Bro. Gillig 1-3–5, Bri. Gillig 6-5–18, Bouillon 1-0–2, Kirian 2-0–4, Depinet 0-0–0, Tiell 0-0–0, Elchert 0-0–0, Theis 0-0–0, Lininger 0-0–0. TOTALS: 13-34 8-15 — 35.
HOPEWELL-LOUDON (3-1)
Zender 1-0–2, Elmore 5-6–16, Burns 4-2–10, Coppus 4-2–12, Siebenaller 3-2–10, Pace 4-1–9, Krupp 0-0–0, Jameson 0-0–0, Searles 0-0–0, Coleman 0-0–0, Welly 0-0–0. TOTALS: 21-54 13-15 –59.
New Riegel 5 10 7 13 — 35
Hopewell-Loudon 6 15 19 19 — 59
3-Point GOALS: New Riegel 1-9 (Bri. Gillig 1); Hopewell-Loudon 5-15 (Siebenaller & Coppus 2, Elmore 1).
rebounds: New Riegel 27 (Bri. Gillig 9); Hopewell-Loudon 31 (Elmore 10).
turnovers: New Riegel 20; Hopewell-Loudon 12.
junior varsity: Hopewell-Loudon, 27-5.

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