NORTH BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Northmor jumped out to a fast start and never looked back en route to a 41-23 victory over Bucyrus in non-conference girls basketball action on Monday at The Castle.
The Golden Knights (2-1) won their second consecutive game after dropping a tough decision to Colonel Crawford, 48-39, in the season-opening game on Nov. 19 at North Robinson. Northmor handed Highland a 53-36 setback on Nov. 23 for its first win.
“A win’s always good,” Northmor head coach Freddie Beachy said. “I just told them, it’s their first game, it’s our third game, let’s jump on them early, overwhelm them a little bit. They’ve got some low numbers (on the team roster) over there and I think he’s got some JV playing varsity and we have a lot of experience. So I told them just to start fast and stay fast.”
Northmor rolled out to a 7-0 lead, holding Bucyrus scoreless for the the first three minutes and 10 seconds of the opening quarter. The Golden Knights built a 17-6 lead after one quarter of play and then locked down defensively with a highly effective trap in the second quarter, outscoring the Lady Redmen 14-2 to extend their lead to 31-8 at halftime. Northmor led 37-11 at the end of three periods of action as the defensive lockdown continued. Bucyrus was able to score 12 points in the final period.
“I’ve got 11 girls, probably seven or eight of them have a lot of varsity experience,” Beachy said. “I told them if they get in foul trouble, we’ll put someone else in. Run hard, if you get tired, tell me, we’ll put someone in so they can get a break. I try not to run them to death, just pick and choose when we do it. (Bucyrus) scouted us so they knew when the trap was coming, so I mixed it up a little bit. I think we did all right tonight.”
Northmor’s pressure defense forced Bucyrus into committing 31 turnovers, including 10 in the first period alone. The Golden Knights outrebounded Bucyrus, 39-30.
Senior guard Lexi Wenger led all scorers with 19 points to pace the Golden Knights on offense. She collected nine rebounds and came up with three steals.
Senior forward Reagan Swihart added 10 points, going a perfect 4-for-4 at the free throw line for Northmor. She grabbed six rebounds and recorded two steals.
“(Wenger and Swihart) are both leaders. They’re actually four-year starters,” Beachy said. “They’ve been starting since day one (on varsity). I expect them to give us leadership and play hard. I get on them sometimes because I expect them to lead us. They help the younger kids out. There’s not many four-year starters out there.”
Sophomore point guard Brook Dennison and senior guard Paige Caudill each scored five points for the Golden Knights. Dennison snared six rebounds and came up with three steals.
“Brook just goes and gets after it,” Beachy said. “With her coming out here and going fast, I think that speeds everybody else up. We’ve just got to get her to see the court and slow down a little bit at times, let the game come to her. But other times, we just need to take the leash off and let her go.”
Junior guard Lauren Johnson added two points and two rebounds to the final tally for Northmor. Junior forward Emilee Jordan grabbed five rebounds.
Sophomore guard Kendra Blizzard led Bucyrus with 10 points. She scored eight points in the second half, including five of the 12 points Bucyrus tallied in the fourth quarter.
Junior forward Madalyn Kimmel scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds. Sophomore forward Emma Tyrrell added four points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore guard Addison Ricker chipped in two points.
Northmor has a key early-season matchup on Wednesday at Cardington-Lincoln as they open Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference play. The Golden Knights travel to Danville on Saturday. Northmor has a two-game homestand next week as they take on Fredericktown next Wednesday and East Knox next Saturday.
Bucyrus plays host to Mohawk on Saturday in the opening game of the Northern 10 Athletic Conference schedule for the Lady Redmen.