Thanks to a stifling defense, the Mount Gilead girls’ basketball team was able to earn its first playoff victory since the 2011-12 season by overwhelming Bishop Ready by a 49-20 score.
“We hadn’t played in over a week or practiced in two days,” said Indian coach Bob Scott. “I said we might be a little rusty on offense, but the defense should be okay.”
Fortunately for MG, two of their players didn’t start out rusty from the field, as Madilyn Elson and Kaitlynn Pfeifer combined for all 13 of the team’s points in the first quarter. Both hit a three-pointer in the early going to stake the Indians to a 6-0 lead. Elson would add two more baskets and Pfeifer popped another three to give their team a 13-7 lead after eight minutes.
“That got us going and took the pressure off Holly (Gompf) a little bit,” said Scott, noting that his senior star is closing in on the 1000-point milestone, having 995 after finishing with 17 against the Silver Knights.
After Candace Millisor opened the second quarter with a three-pointer, Gompf started to heat up, hitting a pair of shots before the half. While MG only scored seven points in the second quarter, they were able to add to their lead, as they only gave up two points on a Claire Larger basket.
With her team holding a 22-9 lead, Gompf opened the third quarter with a basket off a steal. Ready responded with two points, but Mount Gilead would then put the game away with a 13-1 run. Both Isabella Schroeter and Elson scored four points during that time, while Gompf hit a three-pointer and Aubrey Thomas also connected from the field.
While Ready finished the quarter with five straight points by Larger, they still trailed 35-17 going into the fourth. Mount Gilead would not allow them to get any closer than that 18-point margin. After Gompf and Hope Orders traded three-pointers, the Indians held their opponents scoreless for the final six minutes of action.
Five points each by Gompf and Millisor, as well as one from Thomas, helped MG extend their lead down the stretch.
Besides Gompf’s 17 points, the Indians also got 11 from Elson and eight by Millisor.
After his team won its first playoff game in nearly a decade, Scott is hoping they can also duplicate that 2011-12 team’s feat of being the last Indian team to advance through sectionals to the district semifinals when they play at home against Grandview Heights Saturday night.
“One of our goals this year was to win a playoff game,” he said. “If we win our next one, we’ll be in districts. Now we’ve got to turn around in two days and play another game.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS