GALION — After struggling to find its offense in the first half, the experience of Colonel Crawford took over in the second half, propelling the Eagles to a 45-19 victory over Northmor on Friday night.
The season-opening contest for both ballclubs was surrounded by uncertainty due to the ongoing pandemic, which has sidelined players from each program at various times in recent weeks.
“We were just excited to get back on the floor and play together as a team,” Eagles Head Coach Kyle Fenner said. “I thought we were a little nervous in the first half. We missed some shots that we don’t normally miss; we hadn’t been missing them in our scrimmages. We missed some free throws that we’ve got to make. I thought we calmed down and shot the ball a lot better in the second half. It was just nice to come down here and get a win.”
Northmor Head Coach Freddie Beachy was visibly frustrated following the game, stating that his ballclub, like many others, had been beset by a veritable laundry list of issues in the run-up to Friday’s game.
”Kids in quarantine. Kids coming back from quarantine. Kids being sick. Injuries,” Beachy said. “Everything. We started three sophomores, two juniors. The three sophomores have never played varsity. It showed. Hopefully they learned from it. That’s what I told them.”
Senior guard Allison Teglovic paced the Eagles with a game-high 17 points, dropping in 10 points in the second half as Colonel Crawford outgunned the Golden Knights 27-12 over the final two periods. Teglovic fueled an 11-0 run that spanned the final 30 seconds of the third period and the opening minutes of the fourth. That outburst broke the game open and expanded the Eagles lead from eight to 17 points.
Fenner credited her ballclub’s experience for making that run happen. The Eagles starting lineup on Friday featured four seniors and a junior.
“Our kids have been through the wars,” Fenner said. “They’ve been together for a couple, two, three years now. They settled down, started playing together, started playing more aggressively. It’s nice to have experience.”
Senior Hannah Plesac added nine points and three rebounds. Senior Jenna Maddy scored six points and had three rebounds. Junior Kaylyn Risner tallied five points.
Sophomore Mallory Plesac, senior Ally Hocker, sophomore Brailey Horner, and sophomore Bayge Horner each chipped in two points. Hocker grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
“Our bench is very very young, especially with a couple of kids we’ve got out that are in quarantine,” Fenner said. “I thought our three sophomores (Mallory Plesac, Brailey Horner, Bayge Horner) came off the bench and gave us good minutes.”
Northmor junior Lexi Wenger led the Golden Knights with eight points. Junior Paige Caudill and sophomore Emily Zeger scored four points apiece. Sophomore Emilee Jordan had two points and freshman Brooke Dennison had one point.
Beachy said he has demanding expectations for his Golden Knights team that started two juniors and three sophomores against Colonel Crawford and only has one senior on its roster.
“I’m throwing a lot at them,” Beachy said. “We have one girl that’s a three-year starter (Wenger) and another one that’s a two-year starter and that’s it. Not a lot of experience. We basically have two starters sitting out because of quarantine. It’s going to be a difficult season with everything going on.”
Colonel Crawford (1-0) opens the home portion of its schedule next Saturday against New London. Tip-off is set for 1:30 p.m.
Northmor (0-1) travels to Centerburg on Tuesday to kick off Knox Morrow Athletic Conference play. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
In the junior varsity game, Colonel Crawford edged Northmor, 20-19.