HOWARD — An 18-0 run in the second quarter by the Mount Gilead Indians girls basketball team put the East Knox Bulldogs in a hole they could not dig themselves out of, with the Bulldogs falling 55-35 at home Wednesday.
“They went on an 18-0 run that second quarter,” East Knox coach Chip Pozderac said. “Nothing could fall for us. We just lost in the second quarter. … We couldn’t score a basket. That’s the difference in the ball game. … It was an unlucky bounce on the rim and (the Indians) were hitting everything.”
East Knox started the game on a run of their own, rushing out to a 7-1 lead. By the end of the first frame, they were ahead 12-6 with four points from Alexandria Magers and three from both Sydney Buckingham and Meggan Bartok. Ashley VanHoose kicked in the other two points in the frame.
“At times it was strong,” Pozderac said of the early defensive efforts. “We were just playing good defense. They just got hot and we shut down.”
The Indians’ hot streak started with the blowing of the whistle for the second quarter. At the end of the frame, East Knox was held scoreless, while Mount Gilead piled on 18 points to take a 24-12 lead into the locker room. Madison Fitzpatrick led the way for the visitors with five points in the second, with Isabela Schroeter kicking in another four points and Dakota Shipman splashing home a three.
“We dug a hole and then our kids just fell back into our, ‘We can’t do this,’ and that’s not something that we can let happen again,” Pozderac said.
Mount Gilead continued their solid game play in the second half, scoring 13 points in the third and another 18 in the fourth. The Bulldogs were in double-digits in both of the final two frames, but were outscored in both, pouring in 10 points in the third and 13 in the final stanza, falling by the 20-point margin.
Holly Gompf paced all scorers with 18 points including four 3-pointers. Fitzpatrick was also in double-figures with 11 points. Shipman was not far behind with 10 points of her own. Schroeter and Zoie Barron each kicked in six points apiece, with Kaitlynn Pfeifer and Kylie Irwin rounding out the scoring with two points each.
Bartok topped the scoring list for the Bulldogs, finishing with 11 points, including a bucket from deep and four made free-throws. Magers tacked on eight points, while Joci Totten added six. Syndey Buckingham had five points and VanHoose, Cassidy Gebhardt and Abby Bailey combined for the final five points.
The Indians improved to 2-0 and 1-0 in the Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference. They hit the road Saturday to take on Fredericktown with a 1 p.m. JV start. East Knox leveled off to 1-1 on the year. The Bulldogs play Cardington on the road Friday with the varsity tip set for 7:30 p.m.
“We’ll put this game behind us and it’s a learning experience,” Pozderac said. “If you’re not winning, you’re learning.”