CENTERBURG — The Centerburg girls basketball team turned up the pressure in the second half Saturday.
The Trojans used its full-court pressure defense to turn a close game into a rout and rolled to a 51-29 victory over the visiting Freddies in Mid-Buckeye Conference action.
“I thought we were ready for the type of pressure we would get from Centerburg. I know they do a great job of picking up the pressure full court and we lost our composure in several spots,” said Fredericktown coach Wes Elifritz. “A team like Centerburg is going to take advantage of that. There’s nothing you can do but tip your hat to coach (Todd) Nauman’s game plan and the energy in which his girls executed it.”
The Trojans (2-0 overall, 1-0 MBC) led 17-12 after a dogfight of a first half, but scored the first 10 points of the third quarter to blow the game open.
“It was a dogfight the whole first half as to who would gain control inside. I’m pleased with what we were able to do defensively,” Centerburg coach Todd Nauman said. “Obviously, we want to score more than 17, but we were up five, so we wanted to build on that. The second half got better and we played a little more our style of game.”
Both teams’ defenses came to play in the first quarter. Centerburg made just 2 of 11 shots from the field in the quarter, but held Fredericktown (1-1, 0-1) to just 1 of 7 as the Trojans led 7-3.
The second quarter was more of the same as neither team could get much going offensively and Centerburg led 17-12 at intermission.
After the Trojans took control in the third quarter, they turned to junior Stacy Fielding in the fourth to put the game on ice. Fielding scored seven of her game-high 14 points in the quarter and seemed to be in on every rebound, loose or tipped ball and defensive stop.
“I thought Stacy Fielding played a tremendous game,” said Nauman. “Stacy does a nice job out there. All they saw today is what she is capable of, which is obviously good for me and the team.”
“They got a real good game from Stacy Fielding. We just did not have a good match for her,” Elifritz said.
The other big key in the Trojans’ win was the play of their posts, especially Carly Compton. Compton had eight points and 11 rebounds, including seven in the second half when the Trojans took control. The senior, along with Tristen Simpson and Mikaela Weldy, also helped control the Freddies’ big guns of Hope Huvler and Emily Williams.
Huvler and Williams both ended the game with 11 points, but a good portion of that was in the fourth quarter after the game was already decided.