It stands to reason that a 13-day layoff would lead to a sluggish start. Not for the Big Walnut girls basketball team, which scored the first six points of the game and never trailed en route to a 57-37 win over visiting Hilliard Bradley.
Erin Boehm scored 16 points on the strength of three three-pointers to lead the Golden Eagles to the convincing win in the second round of the Division I district tournament Friday night in Sunbury.
The 14th-seeded Golden Eagles (17-6) have already outpaced last season’s win total by two games. They hadn’t played since their regular season finale Feb. 13 after a first-round bye in the tournament.
“Because we were off for two weeks, I was a little worried we’d come out flat, but we didn’t,” Boehm said. “We did the opposite – we came out strong. We pressured them, made them turn the ball over and got a good lead.”
24th-seeded Bradley trailed by 10 points after one quarter, but used a 17-5 final quarter to get over the hump in its first-round 42-33 victory at Pickerington North (seeded 22nd).
“We just didn’t let up because we watched their previous game,” Boehm said. “They were down by a lot, but they didn’t stop. So, we knew they never give up – they’re a hard team and they’re tough. So, it was a good win for us.”
BW’s defense was especially stout, holding the Jaguars to just nine field goals overall and seven points in each of the first three frames.
“Defensively, I thought we were really locked in tonight,” BW coach Jason Crawford said.
It could have been worse for Bradley, but not for three-pointers by Teneea Heston and Abbey White in the final seconds of the first and second quarters.
Alexis Schone knocked down a pair of three-pointers as the Eagles opened the second 11-0 to blow the game open.
“From our scouting … they’re a tremendous defensive team,” Crawford said. “We came out and executed well and shot the ball well from the perimeter. We had those two weeks off and we were chomping at the bit.”
BW led 30-14 at the break and pushed the lead as high as 25 in the second half.
Stacey Walters and Abby Facemyer added nine points apiece and Katie Cochran and Avery Schone each pitched in eight for the Eagles.
Abbey White led the Jaguars (11-13) with 15 points, including a 10-for-12 effort at the foul line. Heston and Carly Callahan chipped in six.
BW advances to the district semifinal for the second straight year where it faces fourth-seeded Reynoldsburg Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at a site to be determined.
“We’re just going to do what we’ve done all year and that’s get our scouting report … and try to put a game plan together that help us be successful,” Crawford said. “We’re just going to come out and play as hard as we can and see if we can pull off something special.”