For nine minutes and 30 seconds, the visiting Northmor girls were right with undefeated Cardington in a KMAC basketball game.
Unfortunately for Northmor, Cardington would dominate the rest of the third quarter and never looked back in finishing on top by a 59-30 count. The Pirates finished the second quarter on a 19-2 run and opened the third by scoring 15 of the first 17 points recorded.
“We were quarantined all week,” said Pirate coach Jamie Edwards. “I though we came out a little sluggish. We had a good practice yesterday, but I was worried about our legs because Mac (junior Mikayla Linkous) was out with contact tracing. That thinned us out on the bench, but a lot of people stepped up. This might be our most balanced game in my six years.”
The Pirates took a 9-4 lead in the first quarter behind four points by Beth Hardwick and a three-pointer from Kambry Edwards. However, they would not score over the final four minutes of the period and Northmor took advantage of that lull, getting a three-pointer from Paige Caudill and a basket from Emilee Jordan to knot things up at nine.
Dana Bertke opened the second period with a steal and score for the Pirates, but a Reagan Swihart put-back tied things again. However, the only points Northmor would get the rest of the way in the period came from a Lauren Johnson bucket late in the quarter.
Meanwhile, Cardington got six from Kambry Edwards and five points from both Bertke and Karsyn Edwards, as well as three from Hardwick, in surging out to a 30-13 halftime advantage.
Northmor coach Freddy Beachy said that his team simply couldn’t handle Cardington’s pressure defense.
“We can’t handle pressure,” he said. “That’s no secret. I don’t know if it’s the name on the front of the jersey or what. I have to get better as a coach because we’re not that bad.”
Cardington continued to pull away in the third quarter. Five points each from Hardwick and Karsyn Edwards helped them extend their lead to a 45-15 score in a game they would lead 47-18 going into the fourth.
Four points by Emalee Artz and two from Kambry Edwards helped their team extend its lead to a 54-18 margin. Northmor got seven points from Lexi Wenger in the period, but the Golden Knights would not be able to get any closer than 29 down the stretch.
Edwards was pleased with Bertke’s job defensively on Wenger. While the Northmor junior led her team with eight points, most of that output came late in the contest.
“Dana did good on Wenger,” said the Pirate coach. “For the most part, she was lockdown on one of the best scorers in the league.”
He was also pleased with his team’s long-range shooting, as they finished with 10 three-pointers on the afternoon.
“We’re loaded with three-point shooters,” he said. “We have four kids who shoot lights out and are three-point threats, even against zones.”
Hardwick and Karsyn Edwards both scored 14 to lead all scorers. Kambry Edwards scored all 12 of her points on four three-pointers, while Bertke tallied nine.
For the Golden Knights, Beachy said that his team’s fortunes won’t improve until they get better at controlling the ball.
“We knew they were going to press — everyone presses us,” he said. “We’re not going to be competitive until we can handle the press.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS