A dominant defensive performance paved the way for Cardington to open the KMAC portion of their girls’ basketball schedule with a 74-27 home victory over Northmor Wednesday.

The Pirate pressure forced a lot of turnovers and prevented Northmor from getting anything going inside the arc. While the Golden Knights connected seven times for three-pointers, they only hit two two-point shots and a pair of free throws over the course of the night.

“It was a defensively-run game,” said Cardington coach Jamie Edwards. “Our pressure dictated what they did. It was a deep three or no shot. Our pressure kept us with the ball. Everyone played good.”

Northmor wasn’t able to light up the scoreboard until a Paige Caudill three with 2:52 left in the opening period. However, Cardington had nine points by that time on a three-pointer by Mikayla Linkous and two-point shots from Karsyn Edwards, Kambry Edwards and Linkous. A pair of baskets late in the quarter by Beth Hardwick staked the home team to a 13-6 lead after the opening period.

They would open up a commanding lead in the second quarter behind a balanced offensive performance. Dana Bertke scored five points, while both Kambry and Karsyn Edwards added three pointers and Emalee Artz had a basket and free throw for three more. Despite getting threes from Caudill and Reagan Swihart, the Golden Knights found themselves in a 30-14 hole at the intermission.

For Northmor coach Freddie Beachy, it was an all-too-familiar scene against the Pirates.

“Every time we’ve played them,” he said. “It’s embarrassing. They worked at it and worked at it, but every time the ball goes in the air, we melt. We just don’t handle pressure. They make us play fast and we cannot handle it. It’s the same story every time we play them.”

Swihart scored seven for Northmor in the third quarter, but her team couldn’t get any traction, with a Wenger three being their only other points. Meanwhile, Cardington steadily added to their advantage thanks to a nine-point showing by Bertke, as well as four from Hardwick.

Leading 53-24 entering the fourth, the Pirates were able to add enough to their lead to finish the game with a running clock. Edwards was pleased with how his team handled a Northmor squad that held a size advantage.

“They had a huge height advantage,” he said. “They slowed us down at time in the half court. Our transition is what saved the game for us.”

With a big win to open the KMAC season, Edwards feels his team is ready to try to maintain its stranglehold over the league title.

“It makes a statement,” he said. “I think we still have a lot of naysayers because of our height and they don’t think we have depth.”

That depth might be improving, though. The only negative for Edwards was losing Artz to an ankle injury in the second quarter. However, in her place, freshman Madison Caulkins gave the team strong minutes and finished with six points.

Bertke led the team with 16, while Hardwick scored 14, Linkous had 13, Kambry Edwards finished with 10 and Karsyn Edwards added nine. Northmor got all of its scoring from three players. Swihart led the team with 10, Caudill hit three times from long range for nine and Wenger scored eight.

For Beachy, a poor showing against Cardington was not ideal, as his team will have some tough league games in the near future.

“It’s not going to get any better,” he said. “We play Danville on Saturday and then turn around and play Fredericktown.”

Dana Bertke drives to the hoop for Cardington in their Wednesday night win over visiting Northmor.
https://www.galioninquirer.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2021/12/web1_danabertke.jpgDana Bertke drives to the hoop for Cardington in their Wednesday night win over visiting Northmor. Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel

Northmor’s Haley Dille prepares to shoot against Cardington Wednesday.
https://www.galioninquirer.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2021/12/web1_haleydille.jpgNorthmor’s Haley Dille prepares to shoot against Cardington Wednesday. Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel

By Rob Hamilton


Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS