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Easy does it for Lady Bruins in regional opener

Girls basketball (St. Bede 1A regional)

PERU — The postseason in girls basketball got underway in the Girls 1A Regional at St. Bede Academy on Monday night with blowout wins for the host Lady Bruins and the Dwight Lady Trojans.

In the evening’s first game, La- oille-Ohio held an early lead, but a disastrous second quarter set the tone for the rest of the contest, which Dwight won 59-36 and earned them an advance to a matchup with Putnam County at 6 p.m. Tuesday night.

In game 2 of the night, St. Bede overpowered the DePue Lady Giants 58-5. The Lady Bruins advanced to play Midland in the 7:30 p.m. game Tuesday night at Abbot Vincent Gym.

Dwight 59, LaMoille 36

The Lady Lions got off to a promising start with L-O points leader Mari Billhorn draining four 3-pointers to help her team end the first period with a 21-13 lead.

“Yeah, we came out smokin’,” Lady Lions coach Jim Brandau said. “Everybody was hitting their shots, and I thought this was something.”

LaMoille-Ohio went on a 9-0 run in the early going that made Dwight coach Jeff Froelich wonder if that was really his team on the floor.

“Gave up 21 points in the first (quarter), we looked pretty good, didn’t we?” he asked, half kiddingly. “To be fair, we’re fighting so much sickness and injuries right now, we’re hoping to get a couple of kids back.”

In the second period, however, trouble was on the horizon for La­Moille-Ohio as the Lady Trojans went on an 18-0 scoring spree to gain a 32-24 lead at halftime.

“Yeah, the kids played better after the first (period) of kinda standing around,” Froelich said. “We knew (L-O) was going to come out and play hard, and we didn’t do well until we finally decided to wake up and started pushing the ball.”

Leading the turnaround for the Lady Trojans were Kayla Kodat (20 points) and Nora Anderson (18), while Rylee Farris (7) made her contributions at the free throw line.

Brandau said the points drought in the second period was frustrating.

“They changed defenses on us, and we couldn’t hit a thing,” he said. “That threw us off, and I think the girls lost confidence in themselves.”

Billhorn would not score again in the game, though Emma Lundquist (7), Cassidy Geiger (6) and Dulce Bejareno (5) made a little progress against Dwight’s defense.

Kodat and Anderson kept up their newfound pace, helping Lady Trojans end the third period with a 46-30 lead, and end the game with a 59-36 winning score.

“I’m not happy with the outcome, but I’m happy with my girls,” Brandau said. “They never quit, tonight or throughout the season.”

St. Bede 58, DePue 5

The Lady Bruins jumped out to a 16-0 lead over the Lady Giants in the first period and was ahead 34-0 at halftime, led by Renn Ludford (20 points) and Ryann Stoudt (12).

“I was hoping we could establish a bit of rhythm in our shooting,” St. Bede coach Tom McGunnigal said. “And continue to do what we want to on the floor.

“You never know in the postseason, so you try to get the nerves out. Even on your home floor, it could be a one-and-done situation.”

DePue first-year head coach Gilbert Moreno was glad to see, though outgunned and outnumbered, the effort and energy Lady Giants displayed.

“They (St. Bede) were so much faster and so much bigger,” Moreno said. “Plus tonight we’re down three from our usual nine (players).

“I told the girls that it’s a learning experience and don’t get upset. Get more girls to go out for the program.”

DePue put a lot a shots up but none went through until freshman Lupita Hurtado sunk a three-pointer halfway through the third period, which ended with St. Bede up 42-3.

The Lady Giants were able to score again when Summer Hayes dropped a bucket early in the fourth period.

“They tried hard,” Moreno said. “They were just out of gas.”

McGunnigal said this game gave his Lady Bruins good preparation for their matchup with Midland.

“They’re going to be similar to DePue in that they really don’t post anybody up,” McGunnigal said. “Just five girls on the perimeter moving around, so when shots up, they’re going to have to box out on the perimeter.

“Some things for us to work on for tomorrow night that we worked on subtly tonight. The girls responded well and did what we needed to do.”

Also in the Lady Bruins scoring were Grace Maschmann and Lia Bosnich with six points apiece, with Leah Smudzinski and Abby Nawa each chipping in four points.

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