SUNBURY – If defense wins championships, the Big Walnut girls basketball could be well on its way following Wednesday night’s effort against Mount Vernon.
The Golden Eagles held the visiting Yellow Jackets to five points in the second half and senior guard Erin Boehm poured in 15 of her game-high 19 points in a 52-25 non-league win.
“We are hard-working players,” Boehm said. “I know – for a fact – that all 10 of us are going to come out (and play hard). If I make a mistake, I know somebody’s got my back. So, that gives us confidence in each other.”
MV’s Macee Marcum opened the second half with a three-pointer to cut the Jackets’ deficit to 27-23.
Alexis Schone found Boehm for a layup, then converted a three-point play before finding Brook Stooksbury to push the Eagle lead to 34-23.
“We talked about those first three minutes of the second half being important to the game,” BW coach Jason Crawford said. “We played with great intensity in the second half and really helped each other with our assignment.”
Then, Boehm took over. She knocked down a pair of three-pointers sandwiched around two free throws, extending the lead to 47-24.
She hit a third triple in the fourth quarter and accounted for all five of BW’s points in the frame.
“She’s definitely streaky,” Crawford said. “All she needs to see is a free throw go in or a layup and it gets her confidence up and she can go on a streak. I think we saw that tonight. She got a little extra bounce in her step when she hit one or two in the third quarter.”
Fouls were also a key in the second half. The Eagles (1-1) committed just four after three players were in trouble with two in the first half.
“Defense is all about effort,” Boehm said. “We came out and played solid defense and didn’t foul as much as we did in the first half – which was what coach wanted us to do.”
Alyssa Tarney scored four points as BW scored eight straight to open the game 10-2. The Eagles led by as many as 10 in the first before Layne Lepley beat the buzzer to cut the Jackets’ deficit to 14-6 at the end of the first.
Abby Brown knocked down a pair of threes sandwiched around a Payton Carter hoop to help the Eagles extend their lead to 24-13 with about three and a half minutes left in the half.
“That was six big points because we had two or three girls on the bench with two fouls,” Crawford said. “She doesn’t back down – she’s not afraid of the lights – so to speak. She didn’t second-guess herself. She stepped into it with confidence.”
That’s when Marcum did most of her damage. She knocked down four free throws and buried a three to cut it to 24-20.
Then, Boehm found Tarney for a three on the left wing in the final seconds to give the Eagles a 27-20 lead at the break.
Marcum led the Jackets (0-3) with 11 points.
Next up, BW opens OCC-Capital play at Groveport-Madison Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.