DELAWARE – The Olentangy Berlin girls basketball team is going to make mistakes as it weaves through the uncharted territory of playing without last year’s leading scorer Jessica Nation, who is out with a knee injury and will likely miss the season.
The Bears are going to take some lumps along the way – like Wednesday night’s 62-50 loss to visiting Bishop Hartley in non-league play.
“We have a bunch of really smart kids, who don’t make mistakes,” Berlin girls basketball coach Megan Beidelman said. “We’re just trying to get them comfortable with making mistakes and being uncomfortable because a lot of them are perfectionists. And – while that’s great in the classroom – on the basketball floor, it’s OK (to make mistakes).
“You’re not going to get better if you don’t try new things. I told a JV player in a game today, ‘Go left. If you turn it over, no big deal. But how are you going to be able to go left in a varsity game, if you can’t go left in a JV game?’ I think just having that mindset of aggressive mistakes aren’t bad.”
Bella Parker knocked down a pair of three-pointers for the Hawks early in the second quarter. The second one sparked a 20-2 run that ended up being the difference in the game.
Parker knocked down three from long range in the period and Milayna Williams added two more as the Hawks turned a 13-13 tie into a 33-15 lead in about five and a half minutes.
Maddie Goodman and Courtney Suchan each scored baskets for the Bears in the final 45 seconds of the half. Suchan’s was a mid-range buzzer-beater that pulled Berlin within 34-19 at the break and the teams were about even in the second half.
Post Eloise Brandewie had 16 points, nine rebounds and four blocks and Parker finished with 14 points and six assists to lead the Hawks (2-1).
Brandewie scored 11 of her points in the second half to pace Hartley.
“We had a good balance on the inside and outside and we haven’t had that in a lot of our games this season,” Hartley coach Donald Dennis said. “We’re a better team when we have that kind of balance.”
“If they beat us, it’s going to be because they got hot,” Beidelman said. “Our goal was to take away their post presence. That was our first priority because a lot goes through the post.”
Goodman finished with a game-high 20 points, Suchan added 13 points, six rebounds, six steals and three assists and Gwynne Kiener added eight points and six boards to lead the Bears (1-4).
Kami Kortokrax had 13 points, six rebounds and three assists, Williams had eight points, seven assists and four steals and Sa’Haia Clark-Lee had eight points and five boards for Hartley.
“Give them credit – they shot the ball very well,” Beidelman said. “When they shoot the ball well, they’re hard to defend because you can’t dig on the post and play them straight up. They knocked down threes and made the passes and we struggled to adjust.”
Next up, Berlin gets back to OCC-Cardinal play Friday night with a trip to Dublin Jerome. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.