A great defensive performance by Cardington in the first half paced them to a 65-23 win over visiting Fredericktown on Wednesday night.
The Lady Pirates held their opponents scoreless for the first five minutes of the game and were able to take a 41-9 lead into the half, as they cruised to their second win in as many games this season.
“Our sophomore class is real quick,” said head coach Jamie Edwards. “They have a high basketball IQ and are good at making reads, and with Casey (Bertke) and Hannah (Wickline) there, it makes them look better.”
The team scored the first eight points of the game, with Dana Bertke tallying four points on a three-pointer and a free throw, while Casey Bertke and Beth Hardwick both hit baskets. Cardington would then suffer through a drought lasting for 2:33, but only gave up three points during that span to maintain a five-point lead.
“We were hoping to score a little more at the beginning, but our defense was there,” said Edwards.
Buckets by Casey Bertke and Karsyn Edwards ended that scoring slump and the team would add a three-pointer from Hardwick and a pair of free throws by Wickline to lead 17-7 after eight minutes.
For the game, Cardington connected on six three-pointers. Coach Edwards said that improved long-distance shooting could be a big boost to his team.
“We shot it well from three — our sophomores are knocking them down this year,” he said. “I think we have five options out there. It’s good to have that when you know most teams will go down in on Casey and Hannah.”
Cardington would effectively clinch the game with a dominating second quarter, in which they outscored the Freddies by a 24-2 margin. Five different players scored before Fredericktown got their lone basket of the period, with both Karsyn and Kambry Edwards hitting from long range.
Leading 28-9, the team then finished the quarter with a 13-0 run over the final three minutes, with Karsyn Edwards tallying five of that total.
While a Fredericktown three-point barrage in the third quarter brought them within a 47-21 score with three minutes left in that period, Cardington would reclaim the momentum by scoring seven straight points to take them into the fourth with a 33-point lead.
Casey Bertke tallied five points in that quarter and scored four more in the fourth on her way to leading the Pirates with 17 points. Dana Bertke added 11 and Karsyn Edwards finished with eight in the game.
While happy to get a dominating win in his team’s first KMAC contest of the season, Coach Edwards noted that they’ll have to work hard to maintain their spot at the top of the league.
“I’m not going to be cocky and say we’ll roll through the league,” he said. “The league is pretty strong. We’re not taking previous years. We’re going to take everything seriously and try to win our sixth in a row.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS