In a Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference rematch, Mount Gilead was able to keep up with Cardington for most of the opening period, but got overwhelmed by the Pirates over the remaining 24 minutes in falling by a 70-17 margin in girls’ basketball.
The Pirates jumped out to an early 12-2 lead behind eight points from Kynlee Edwards. However, five straight points from Madison Fitzpatrick brought the Indians within a 12-7 margin. Cardington’s Jessica Shook and MG’s Mallory Graham traded baskets to keep it a five-point game with under a minute to play in the first, but the Pirates were able to finish the period with a Sage Brannon three-pointer to lead 17-9 after eight minutes.
After a poor shooting performance against Utica earlier in the week, Cardington coach Jamie Edwards was a lot happier after this game. The Pirates hit three three-pointers in the first quarter and had eight for the game.
“We couldn’t hit anything in the Utica game,” he said. “We were 2-of-12 and then came out tonight and hit six of our first seven. It was nice to come back after such a bad shooting display.”
In the second quarter, it was Mount Gilead coach Ryan Stover who was hoping for better shooting, as his team was held to a Graham basket during that span. Meanwhile, Cardington opened the period with five points by Kyndall Spires and a three-pointer from Alyson Adams.
After Graham’s shot, it was still a 25-11 lead by the Pirates, who then finished the half with a 10-0 run. Brannon hit another three, while Casey Bertke, Paige Clinger and Spires also hit shots and Edwards added a free throw, as Cardington led by 24 at the intermission.
“Their experience just took over,” said Stover of the Pirates. “They’re a really quick team and very athletic and physical. As the game wore on, they kept being physical.”
The Pirates resumed where they left off in the third quarter, scoring the first 13 points of the second half, with Spires tallying six and Edwards adding four more. Baylee Hack scored four straight for MG to end the Pirate run, but they would finish the third with nine straight points, seven by Edwards, to lead 57-15 with eight minutes left in the game.
They would continue their strong defensive performance in the fourth, holding the Indians to two points on their way to picking up the league win.
Even though his team won by a large margin, coach Edwards noted that MG is a lot improved from when they met the first game of the season in a contest his team won 86-18.
“I think they’re a much improved team,” he said. “They’re young — basically all freshmen — but they played tough the first five or six minutes to where I had to get into the girls. We forced them into a few turnovers, but not to the same basis as it had been in the first game.”
Stover also felt that his team has been improving as the season has progressed.
“As a whole, we’ve turned a lot of things around from three weeks ago,” he said. “We just have to figure out how to make shots and we’ll be okay. We take a step forward every night. Every day, we have a good practice and we do something a little better every game.”
For the contest, MG was led by Fitzpatrick’s seven points. Cardington got 20 from Edwards, 15 by Spires, 12 by Brannon and nine from Bertke. For the game, eight Pirates got on the scoreboard. Having that sort of scoring depth pleased their coach.
“Our six, seven and eight girls have played a huge role,” he said. “Their minutes have gone up significantly in the last four games. They’re a lot like starters and we don’t lose anything by playing them. Our bench has been super-solid. They’ve been playing a lot of minutes.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS