For the seventh straight year, the Cardington girls’ basketball team is able to say it’s the top team in its league.
The undefeated Pirates jumped out to a quick lead over visiting Centerburg Saturday night and finished with a 53-38 win to earn sole possession of this season’s KMAC championship.
“That’s our number one goal on the board,” said head coach Jamie Edwards. “It’s nice to do it on senior night to let the seniors take it (the net) down one more time.”
In comparing this team to the previous league champions, the coach noted how close-knit the group is with a large junior class leading the way on the court.
“That junior group has been solidly together from their third grade year,” he said. “They love to play together. They’re not big, but they know how to ground out wins. It’s like a little family. They know each other so well. It’s a special group.”
While his team isn’t particularly tall, they are able to connect from long range, as the Trojans found out on Saturday. Cardington hit 10 three-pointers in the game to wind up with over half their offense coming from beyond the arc.
“We shoot them at a high percentage — we’re not just throwing up threes,” Edwards said. “They’ll shoot another hour after our one-and-a-half hour practices. They’re just relentless.”
Against Centerburg, two three-pointers by Beth Hardwick and two points from Dana Bertke staked the Pirates to an 8-0 lead. They would hold a 12-5 lead after eight minutes and then opened the second quarter with a three-pointer from Karsyn Edwards and an Emalee Artz free throw.
Chloe Goulter scored seven points in the period to help get her team within a 20-14 margin late in the half, but Kambry Edwards finished the quarter with back-to-back threes to extend the lead to 12 points.
They would then open the third quarter on fire, scoring 16 points in the opening 4:30 of the period. Kambry Edwards connected on two more threes, while Hardwick tallied five points to boost the Cardington lead to a 42-23 margin.
Centerburg would battle back. They finished the third on an 8-3 run and then scored six straight to open the fourth to cut the Cardington lead to a 45-37 score. However, they would only score one point down the stretch, as the Pirates were able to preserve the win.
Hardwick hit three three-pointers in leading the team with 15 points. Kambry Edwards scored 12 on four threes and Karsyn Edwards added eight.
With the postseason coming up soon, Edwards felt his team’s league games will have them ready to try for another long playoff run.
“We had three teams that were in the top five Division III seeds in us, Fredericktown and Mount Gilead, and Danville will be top five in DIvision IV,” he said. “I think it helps us, playing good teams in the league.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS