By ANDY WOLF
BLOOMDALE — Elmwood girls basketball coach Doug Reynolds came away very pleased with his team’s decisive victory over a Van Buren team he feels “is going to win a lot of games.”
The Royals never trailed, leading 15-5 after one frame, before picking up a 56-32 nonleague victory on Monday night.
“First half was a pretty good half,” Reynolds said. “We started out and wanted to box (Van Buren’s Mady) Parker, that confused them.
“Kayla Minich really got going for us tonight, which that’s how she can play, and Brooklyn (Thrash) just played her steady game.
“Our foul shooting was tremendous tonight (19 of 25).”
Both teams moved to 2-1 overall.
Thrash, a 6-foot sophomore wing, did the bulk of the free-throw shooting as she made 14 of 16 attempts en route to a game-high 26 points. She also led all players with eight rebounds.
The two misses won’t bug Thrash, though, as she noted she shot “better than last game” at 9 of 14.
“We did pretty well passing the ball around, getting down the floor,” Thrash said. “(Our defense) could’ve been better but we were getting to the ball and getting to the passes.”
Minich, a 5-10 senior wing, chipped in 11 points — all in the first half — five rebounds and three steals.
She scored her last points off an offensive putback midway through the second quarter to put the Royals ahead 28-13.
Thrash also accounted for 13 of those 28 points, scoring three times on an entry lob, another on a spin in the paint and hitting 7 of 8 at the foul line.
“Brooklyn is always going to draw double teams,” Reynolds said of his leading scorer who was a first-team all-league pick last season. “Still, she’s a very smart ball player for only a sophomore.
“She moves without the ball and the kids give her the basketball and she’s got some uncanny moves that she makes.”
Meanwhile, all nine Van Buren players to see the court scored a field goal.
The Black Knights suffered from a tough shooting start with numerous misses in the paint. Van Buren was 7 of 24 in the first half, despite eight offensive rebounds. The Knights finished 14 of 47 (29 percent) from the floor.
Van Buren was only able to turn in two second-chance points at the half and trailed 35-15 at intermission.
Izzie Pawlak hit two 3-pointers to lead the way with six points, while Zoe Horne and Sophia Reineke each had five points.
Parker, who totaled 25 points in Van Buren’s first two games, scored just once on an offensive putback.
“Fortunately, they missed some of those shots that they had on the offensive rebound,” Reynolds said. “I thought we got up and down the floor pretty well.”
Lainey Bingham added six points and six rebounds for the Royals. Haley Zimmerman had four points, three assists, three steals and a block.
For the Black Knights, Breanna Tabler had three steals, while Parker and Pawlak had five and four rebounds, respectively.
VAN BUREN (2-1)
Tabler 1-0–2, I. Pawlak 2-0–6, Durliat 2-0″”4, Parker 1-0–2, Horne 2-0–5, Reineke 2-1–5, Recker 1-0–2, Bishop 1-0–2, M. Pawlak 2-0–4. TOTALS: 14-47 1-5–32.
Zimmerman 1-1–4, Mareches 2-1–5, Thrash 6-14–26, Minich 5-1–11, Bingham 2-2–6, Murray 2-0–4. TOTALS: 18-36 19-25–56.
Van Buren 5 10 8 9 — 32
Elmwood 15 20 9 12 — 56
3-Point GOALS: Van Buren 3-9 (I. Pawlak 2, Horne 1); Elmwood 1-5 (Zimmerman 1).
rebounds: Van Buren 26 (Parker 5); Elmwood 35 (Thrash 8).
turnovers: Van Buren 14; Elmwood 14.
JUNIOR VARSITY: Van Buren, 46-42.