CENTERBURG — Centerburg senior Savannah Gammell poured in 27 points Wednesday for the Trojans in a 53-42 Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference win over the Fredericktown Freddies to record their first win of the winter.
“We needed that,” Centerburg coach Bo Glenn said of the win. “Our kids deserve it. They’ve been working hard and with all the changes we’ve been making this year, this just feels fantastic to see them win.”
Centerburg came out on fire, posting 18 points in the first frame, thanks to six points from Gammell.
“I think we realized that they were much smaller than we were and I’m a post and I play physical,” Gammell said. “(My teammates) fed it into me down low and I was just able to score.”
Jacklyn Nussbaum had a solid first quarter for the Freddies, notching six points in the quarter, which she paired with solid play on the defensive end of the floor. Fredericktown found itself down 18-12 after the first period.
Both teams cooled off in the second, but Gammell heated up, scoring 11 of Centerburg’s 13 points in the second quarter. Sophie Lester hit a pair of buckets and a free throw in the second to push the Freddies within nine points, but the home team held a 31-21 lead at the break.
“Our effort and attitude and energy is what brought it tonight,” Glenn said of the strong start. “Savannah played by far her best game of the season. She was by far the best player on the floor and she showed it.”
The cooling effect remained after both teams came out of the locker room. Gammell was limited to two points in the third, both from the charity stripe. Still, the Trojans netted eight points in the quarter, compared to only four from the Freddies, sending the game to the fourth with Centerburg ahead 39-25.
“After that first little rough patch, I think the game was pretty much even, but we allowed that post (Gammell) to score over and over and over,” Fredericktown coach Tim Maceyko said. “We made some adjustments at halftime and kind of fixed it. … It’s just one of those things where our defense has just got to keep working to improve.”
Gammell knocked down an additional four buckets in the fourth quarter to bring her game total up to her eventual 27. Four other Trojans scored in the fourth to put the team’s total at 14 on the period. The visitors played solid defense down the stretch and knocked down deep shots, spraying home four shots from behind the arc in the fourth frame. Fredericktown notched 17 to close out the contest, but the Trojans built a big enough lead to cruise with an 11-point margin, giving the team its first win of the year.
“I’m just excited because this is my senior year and we finally got a win,” Gammell said. “We’ve been working for it all year.”
Gammell packed her stat line all night, hitting 11 shots from the floor and draining all five of her freebies to notch 27. She also had eight rebounds. Kristy Vargo drilled a pair of 3s and finished with eight points, five boards and three steals. Chloe Goulter finished with six points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block, while Elise Tucker notched five points, five boards, three assists and two steals. Grace Mulpas, Emmi Harmon and Lydia Grandstaff combined for seven points, nine boards, three assists and a steal.
Fredericktown was led by Lester’s 14 points and two rebounds. Summer Weller finished with eight points, three rebounds and two blocks. Olivia Mast and Nussbaum both had six points in the game and Mast had seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block and Nussbaum chipped in five boards and an assist. Gabby Daniels had four points and three boards. Tayler Overholt and Celeste Swihart each had two points. Overholt had contributions elsewhere as well, recording nine boards and three assists.
The loss keeps the Freddies out of the win column so far this season, sitting at 0-10. They look for their first win on the road Saturday against Northmor, starting with JV at 1 p.m.
“It’s frustrating to lose, but as a coach, you’ve just got to stay positive and say, ‘If you keep working hard, good things will happen,” Maceyko said.
Centerburg now sits at 1-10 with a 1-6 mark in the KMAC. The Trojans return to action on the road Saturday against Cardington with a 6 p.m. JV tip.
“We’re past the halfway point of the season. My freshmen and sophomores are now sophomores and juniors and they need to take ownership of that,” Glenn said. “If we can hold team defensively under our goal, if we can continue to attack and start making shots and if we take pride in the basketball, we’re going to win a couple more games. I’ve got no doubt about it.”