CARDINGTON — Cardington-Lincoln’s girls basketball team made a statement to the rest of the Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference on Wednesday evening. The Pirates left no doubt who was the top team in the KMAC, dismantling Danville, 73-30.

The Pirates reeled off the first 11 points of the game, stepping out to an 18-5 advantage, early in the second quarter and never looked back.

“This win says a lot about what this team really is,” said Cardington coach Jamie Edwards. “CeCe Newbold is a real quality player for Danville and they have five seniors. Four have significant minutes through their four years. It’s a good win for our team with two seniors and a load of sophomores. Our sophomore crew plays AAU all year. They play on exposure teams and they know how to read rebounds and they have basketball IQs like I’ve never seen.”

Beth Hardwick led all scorers with 20 points for the Pirates (13-1, 10-0). Teammate Casey Bertke was right behind her with 19 points.

“We worked really well together,” Hardwick said. “We had 18 assists, as a team, so we look for each other and try to have each other’s back.”

Along with the scoring, Bertke also had eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals.

“After our close game against Highland, we realized that you can’t take teams too lightly,” Bertke said. “You need to be ready to go all out, every game. Now, we are starting to mesh together, as a team.”

The Blue Devils (10-5, 7-3), which dropped to third in the league, got 17 points from center CeCe Newbold, who also led her team with seven rebounds. Teammate Ally Bower added five rebounds for Danville. The Pirates took advantage of 20 Danville turnovers, while only giving up the ball 11 times. The Blue Devils were out rebounded, 29-22.

“I thought we came out a little intimidated,” said Danville coach Matt Proper. “The offensive boards hurt us a lot. We didn’t get much out of our defense. Hopefully, we can come back Saturday.”

Cardington will travel to Northmor on Saturday, while Danville hosts KIPP Columbus. Both games will be at 1 p.m.


Geoff Cowles: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @