By ROB HAMILTON
Fans of the Cardington Lady Pirates had plenty to celebrate Tuesday night when the team hosted Mount Gilead in a league contest.
Cardington set two team records in the game, both at the expense of the 1976 team, which finished 19-2. By starting the season 11-0, they broke the record of 10 consecutive wins, and by winning 89-21, they topped the mark of 84 points in a single game that was set by the same squad.
“They were kind of self-motivated today,” said head coach Jamie Edwards. “They wanted to get that single-game record. It’s lasted since 1976 and Sage’s (Brannon) mom was on that team.”
Getting out to a fast start was key for the Pirates, as they scored the first 18 points of the contest. Kynlee Edwards led off the game by drilling a three-pointer and both Kyndall Spires and Edwards added buckets to give Cardington an early 7-0 advantage. Two free throws by Spires were followed by back-to-back shots from Alyson Adams and five straight points from Brannon, staking the Pirates to an 18-0 advantage with 2:54 remaining in the opening period.
Mount Gilead got on the scoreboard with a basket from Aly Casto, but Cardington finished the game with a 8-1 run to lead 26-3 after eight minutes. Jamie Edwards noted that his team’s defense set up everything, as they made it difficult for the Indians to get good shot attempts.
“Our goal in our 1-3-1 is to paint them onto one side of the floor and keep them there,” he said. “Turnovers really made a difference in the game; it seemed we kept the ball on our side of the court about 80 percent of the game.”
Cardington would add to their lead consistently throughout the game, scoring 22 points in the second quarter thanks to seven points by Spires and six more from Kynlee Edwards. Mount Gilead was able to get three points in the period by Jenna Shipman and two each from Hope Hack and Casto, but trailed 48-10 going into the second half.
The Pirates would then take the third quarter 18-0 and the fourth 23-11 to claim the win. With 1:12 remaining in the game, Adams hit a pair of free throws that took the team past 84 points to set the new single-game scoring record.
Mount Gilead got seven points by Casto in the game. For the Pirates, all 10 players who dressed wound up on the scoreboard, with four reaching double figures. Kynlee Edwards tallied a game-high 21 points, while Adams had 20, Spires finished with 19 and Brannon had 11.
“That’s kind of our M.O.,” said Jamie Edwards. “We’re not the kind of team where you can pick one kid and stop them. Sage Brannon obviously is something special. She can finish shots a lot of other guards can’t and her game play this season has been the most solid game-in and game-out. Also, we called a couple lob sets and just feed Kyndall and let her use that up-and-under move.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS