The Big Walnut girls basketball team had 19 steals to back a steady performance by senior guard Taryn Hammond to pick up its fifth straight win and seventh in its last eight.
The Golden Eagles doubled up visiting Marysville in the second half on its way to a 51-35 non-league victory Tuesday night in Sunbury.
“We really came out focused on defense … not just one kid, but overall team-oriented (defense),” BW coach Steve Palmer said. “We were averaging nine points less (coming into the game) on the defensive end. There’s three or four games that last year we don’t win because we give up nine and a half more points.”
Hammond had 11 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals as BW outscored Marysville 30-15 in the second half after holding a one-point lead at the break.
“You look at her – and I’m not picking on her, I love her – but she’s five-foot-four and she gets it done,” Palmer said. “She understands body position, she understands tempo and I think she’s played enough games to where the game isn’t fast for her. When you get to that point, you start to see the fruits of your labor.”
Alayna Trott and Hammond hit threes on consecutive possessions to push the lead to nine midway through the third quarter.
“(Trott) really set us in motion,” Hammond said. “That gave us a lot of confidence.”
Sophomore Erin Boehm had a game-high 12 points to go with three steals, Kelly Kreager led with six steals to go with eight points and Emily Neff had three pick-pockets and five rebounds for the Eagles (11-5).
“We trust each other,” Hammond said. “If one person gets beat off the dribble, we’re there to help them. (Trust) is a really big part of our team.”
Haley Cook led the Monarchs (8-8) with eight points, Sarah O’Neal had six points and eight rebounds and Logan Brown added six points off of a pair of threes in the first half to help Marysville to a 21-20 deficit at the break.
BW hosts Canal Winchester in OCC-Capital play Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
Also: Thomas Worthington 42, Hayes 28; Hilliard Davidson 54, Olentangy 43; Orange 62, Franklin Heights 25.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.