The Bellefontaine High School girls basketball team found itself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
That place happened to be on the Jonathan Alder schedule a game after the Lady Pioneers felt like they gave a win away.
Alder (5-4) took its frustrations out on its Central Buckeye Conference visitors, as it jumped out early and cruised to a 65-21 victory Wednesday evening, Dec. 20.
“We were angry from Saturday,” Pioneers coach Steve Cawley said. “We lost a game we felt we shouldn’t have lost, so we wanted to get that bad taste out of our mouths. We came out and did that tonight.”
Getting over a heartbreaking 48-46 loss to Springfield Shawnee Dec. 16, one in which they held a double-digit third quarter lead, wasn’t easy but the Pioneers refocused and put the work in at practice in the days leading up to Wednesday night’s win.
The coach said bouncing back was all about identifying the problems and working on them.
“You come in, you refocus and you address the issue and you learn from it,” Cawley said. “That’s what we did. We addressed the issue and we have to learn from it. We were in control Saturday. We were up 16 at the half and then came out and didn’t play with the same intensity and it cost us.
“We talked about having to play a whole 32 minutes and having intensity the whole time.”
The team brought that fire and intensity from the opening tip against what was an over-matched Bellefontaine team.
Alder blitzed its way to a 29-4 advantage after the first quarter. It looked to run at every opportunity and most of the baskets came on layups or wide open jump shots. When his team is playing fast and with a purpose Cawley knows that good things will happen, it’s ultimately going to come down to whether his team can continue to do those things.
“We want to run the ball, I think anybody that scouts us knows that it’s not a secret,” Cawley said. “We’re a transition team that plays well in transition. So we work on getting the ball up the floor and getting a lot of easy shots and that’s a skill. Transition is not an easy thing to do.”
Four Alder players scored in double figures on the night, led by sophomore Sydney Bourquin’s 16 points. Peyton Mast hit a collection of jumpers in the first quarter and finished with 11. Abby Jones and Melissa Walbom had 10 points apiece and McKenna Huff just missed the double-digit plateau, finishing with nine.
After allowing the 29-point first-quarter explosion, Bellefontaine made a better effort of getting back on defense and forced the Pioneers to work a little harder on offense. Alder was forced to be more patient and rely more on its defense which was stellar all night.
“We are a pressure team and we’re going to get out and guard you full court,” the coach said. “Once you get it across half court we’re going to get out and deny those wings and get into passing lanes. We’ve got good quick guards who have the ability to get us going in the transition game again.”
As for where he thinks his team is nearly halfway through the regular season, the coach said it is still a work in progress.
“I feel like we have a couple games we probably should have won that we didn’t,” the coach said. “But we’re still learning and growing. We haven’t reached our potential yet, we’ve done it in peaks, we just need to keep working.”
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.
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