BATH TOWNSHIP – New Knoxville jumped down on the accelerator early and simply ran away from Ada.
The Rangers had little trouble in dominating Ada 55-14 in the opening game of the Division IV girls basketball sectional tournament Wednesday at Bath.
In the second sectional opener at Bath, New Bremen knocked off Hardin Northern, 52-40.
New Knoxville (16-7) advances to the sectional finals to face New Bremen (14-9) at 8 p.m. Saturday at Bath.
Ada finishes its year 7-16.
Hardin Northern ends its year 6-17.
“It was nice to get everyone in the game,” New Knoxville coach Tim Hegemier said. “A lot of them don’t see too much time and tonight they got a lot of time. … Our outside shooting is what impressed me. I thought we shot the ball pretty well.’’
New Knoxville shot 52 percent from the field and was 8 of 13 on 3-pointers.
Of the Rangers’ 22 baskets, 13 came on layups, by way of a strong passing offense.
Jacklyn Leffel scored 14 points and had four 3-pointers for the Rangers.
“We really focused on coming out strong, no matter what level of tournament it was,” Jacklyn Leffel said. “We needed to come out with a lot of energy. It’s nice to get the first one out of the way because it calms your nerves and you get in the groove. It’s like, ‘all right, it’s tournament time, we’re ready to go.’ ’’
Morgan Leffel added 14 points for the Rangers.
Megan Jurosic had 10 points and nine rebounds. Ellie Gabel had seven points.
Courtney Sumner led Ada with eight points.
The Rangers’ man defense was smothering.
Not only did it force 16 turnovers, it made it difficult for Ada to run its offense where it wanted to on the floor.
New Knoxville continually used its motion offense to jam the ball down low in the paint.
If the paint was jammed up, the Rangers would take the 3-pointer.
The Rangers jumped out to a 9-0 lead and led 15-4 after the first quarter.
“We stressed getting out right off the bat and we’ve really stressed our defense,” Jacklyn Leffel said. “Our help-side (defense) has been huge.’’
By halftime, New Knoxville’s lead had grown to 31-6.
At the half, Morgan Leffel had 12 points and Jurosic had eight.
The Rangers posted 14 first-half baskets and 11 of those came via layups.
“Ellie Gable has done a pretty good job passing the ball as the point guard,” Hegemier said. “I think we did a pretty good job (on offense).’’
New Knoxville started the third quarter on a 9-0 run when Gable hit one 3-pointer and Jacklyn Leffel sank two 3-pointers.
That quickly pushed the lead to 40-6.
The Rangers led 45-12 after three.
“I would say our passing was pretty good tonight,” Jacklyn Leffel said.
Ada shot 12 percent from the field and was 0 of 7 on threes.
New Knoxville won the boards 28-22.
Miranda Wills had 10 rebounds for Ada.
Ada doesn’t have a senior on the roster and starts a freshman and a sophomore.
New Bremen 52,
Hardin Northern 40
Madison Cordonnier and Elli Roetgerman both scored 11 points to lead New Bremen over Hardin Northern in the second sectional game of the night.
Kira Bertke added 10 points and Aliyah Truman had 10 for the Cardinals.
Maddie Grappy paced Hardin Northern with 25 points with five 3-pointers.
In a back-and-forth first half, New Bremen led 11-10 after the first quarter and 23-20 at the half.
The Cardinals started the third quarter on a 13-3 run to pull out to a 36-23 lead with 3:09 left in the third quarter.
New Bremen led 40-25 after three.
Hardin Northern got as close as 48-40 with 1:36 to go before New Bremen hit four straight foul shots to close it out.
New Bremen won the boards 41-19.
Cornonnier had nine rebounds.