CENTERBURG — The Centerburg girls basketball team battled one of central Ohio’s best in Worthington Christian for a little over a quarter.
But the visiting Warriors turned up the pressure on defense in the second quarter and rolled to a 62-21 win in non-league play Thursday night.
Why schedule such a talented opponent?
“It gives us a sense of where we want the program to go,” Centerburg coach Bo Glenn said. “It does us no good if we schedule a bunch of cupcake teams. Granted, we’d like to get wins. We want to see where we stand up against the top couple of seeds in the Central District.”
The slow start led to all five starters being removed early in the first quarter, which gave the Trojans a little momentum.
“Centerburg came out and played us tough defensively right there from the get-go,” WC assistant coach Dean Fulks said. “We didn’t respond. We just came out flat. I think our head coach (Jason Dawson) wanted to send a message to our players that that’s not how you start a game.”
The starters returned to start the second quarter, but it took a few minutes for them to get going.
Centerburg had a 7-6 lead off a Chloe Goulter free throw with 7:05 left in the half and held it for a couple of minutes.
“He pulled his starters and that gave us a lot of momentum,” Glenn said. “I think he was trying to just send a message to his kids. When they brought back their power — we knew what was coming.”
Then, Blessing King gave the Warriors (8-1) the lead for good with a put-back at the 5:19 mark of the frame, which started a 10-0 run.
King had 15 rebounds for WC, including a possession she kept alive with five offensive rebounds — which all came on misses on outside shots. King finished with eight points and five steals for WC.
“Blessing is a unique blend of athleticism and aggression,” Fulks said. “That makes a great rebounder. If you’re athletic and you put in a lot of effort — you can get a lot of rebounds — and that’s what she does.”
Katherine Weakley scored six points during the run in the second quarter.
Weakley finished with game-highs in points (13) and steals (eight) to lead the Warriors, who had 25 steals as a team.
“She kind of ignited us defensively,” Fulks said. “She had some good looks and she knocked them down as well (offensively). She played a great second quarter for us.”
Libby Dalton knocked down three 3-pointers and scored 11 points, Izzie Slaughter had eight rebounds to go with six points and Meghan Maytotte had seven rebounds in addition to six points.
Amelia Smith had 11 points and five rebounds; Goulter had six boards, two assists and a couple of steals and Rebecca Scholl had three steals to lead the Trojans (1-9).
“We’re still so young at the guard position,” Glenn said. “They’re trying to speed us up and we think that we gotta shoot on the first pass after we get it across half court and that’s just not the case. If it’s an outside shot and it doesn’t go in … it’s just like a steal.”
Next up, Centerburg returns to KMAC play Saturday afternoon at Fredericktown. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:45 p.m.
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