The Cole Camp Bluebirds shut down the Sacred Heart Gremlins offense Tuesday night on the way to a 37-24 win in semifinal play of the Kaysinger Conference girls basketball tournament.
Cole Camp (13-7) controlled the tempo of the game on both ends of the floor in the win.
“We wanted them to have to take their time to get shots, and I think we did a wonderful job of making them work really hard to get one, and then it wasn’t easy,” said Cole Camp coach Brian Rice. “Defensively, we did what we wanted to there. Offensively, we wanted to be patient.”
The Bluebirds jumped out quickly to a lead as Erin Rice connected from the outside and Emily Schlesselman scored in the lane. That pair combined for all 15 Bluebird points as Cole Camp secured a 15-7 lead after one quarter.
With the Cole Camp zone clogging the lane, Sacred Heart worked the ball on the perimeter and settled for outside shots.
Kelsey Baldwin nailed a 3-pointer and another perimeter shot early, but the Gremlins struggled to get good looks at the basket.
Sacred Heart made a run in the second as Laura McMullin got going on the offensive end. After a McMullin basket with 4:29 remaining in the second quarter, the Cole Camp lead was reduced to 15-13.
That was as close as the Gremlins came. Cole Camp got a 3-pointer from Rice, a basket by Jenna Cordes, and a pair of scores from Raegan Pierson to run out to a 24-13 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Bluebirds were extremely patient on offense, running chunks of time off the clock on each possession.
“I think they did a wonderful job of controlling the tempo at the offensive end, which sometimes is hard to do,” commented Rice.
The Gremlins tried to pick up the tempo with a full-court press in the fourth. Cole Camp handle the pressure and continued to be patient on offense.
Rice led Cole Camp with 14 points and Schlesselman added 12. McMullin had six points for Sacred Heart.