DELPHOS – Delphos Jefferson’s girls basketball team got off to a quick start and used its height inside and its defense to rout Perry 85-40 in non-league action Wednesday night.
Both teams are looking to overcome youthful units, with neither the Commodores (0-7) nor the Wildcats (3-6) having no seniors on their rosters, the Commodores with 11 girls and the Wildcats with 18.
The Wildcats used their pair of 6-footers in the starting lineup: sophomores Brooke Brinkman (17 points, 11 rebounds) and Delaney Deuel (8 points); to take advantage of the much smaller Commodores.
“First off; we didn’t get off the bus. We didn’t come out ready to play tonight,” Perry head coach John Berens said. “They came right after us and we didn’t have an answer. I wish I had a reason for it but I don’t. We have a lot of youngsters and with their size and athleticisim, we didn’t have an answer for them tonight. Their number 14 (Aby Lindeman) is going to be a heck of a player for them before she is through but she wasn’t alone.”
Jefferson head coach Chrissy Billiter saw some good things from her team.
“We have those two 6-footers in the starting lineup. You don’t see that often,” Billiter said. “Brooke has been playing very well the last two weeks and it’s the little things she is doing well that is helping her have a coming-out party like tonight. It helps that the guards we have are athletic and can do some good things. We are trying to find an identity and when we rebound like we did tonight, we can get out and run. That was one of the reasons we did so well tonight because we do what to run.”
When the freshmen Lindeman (team-high 20 points, 5 assists) scored just seven seconds into the game, the Wildcats led from start to finish. Not only did they utilize their height advantage but they used their pressure defense to force 10 first-period turnovers (33 for the game) in building up a 28-7 lead after eight minutes of action.
Continuing into the second period, the Wildcats kept making things difficult for the Commodores by forcing eight more miscues. With Brinkman stepping up her scoring, they kept building their lead bigger and bigger, leading by as much as 34 late in the period on a basket by Karly Mawhorr (11 points, 10 rebounds) before Perry’s Tia Barfield (35 points) scored with time running down to make the halftime score 48-16, Jefferson.
“As a coach, I felt we played very well for 78 percent of the time. The other 22 percent, we need to work on,” Billiter said. “We try to force turnovers – that’s what we want to do with our defense - and get up and down the floor. We knew that kind of scorer Barfield was coming in and she still scored 35 points.”
Berens knows his team has a long ways to go.
“We have struggled with turnovers. That’s has been the story of the season – one part of it,” Berens said. “We want to press and run as well but when you are so young, as we are, that can lead to more of your own turnovers than we’d like. Still, every time we play, we learn something about the game and ourselves.”
Barfield kept up her scoring in the third period, netting all 17 of her team’s points in the quarter. With Deuel taking over the scoring leadership for Jefferson with six points, the Wildcats kept adding to their lead. When Lizzie Chung dropped in a 3-pointer as time wound down, the Wildcats had built up a 67-33 edge.
In the fourth period, all that had to be decided was the final score, with the Wildcats eventually leading by as much as 45 points three times.
Addy Stewart was the fourth Wildcat in twin figures with 12 points and added six assists.