SOMONAUK — In its final game of the Tim Humes Breakout Girls Basketball Tournament on Thursday night, the La Salle-Peru squad got off to a fast start and never looked back against host Somonauk-Leland.
The Cavaliers scored the game’s opening seven points, led 9-4 after the first quarter, 25-8 at halftime and extended their lead to 44-11 heading to the final eight minutes in an eventual 65-13 triumph.
“We talked before tonight’s game about being ready to go right from the start and I thought we did a good job with that. I also thought our defense was pretty solid from start to finish.”— Adam Spencer, La Salle-Peru girls basketball coach
“Our two losses so far, we came out very slow, dug ourselves a hole and weren’t able to get out,” said La Salle-Peru coach Adam Spencer, his team now 2-2. “We talked before tonight’s game about being ready to go right from the start and I also thought we did a good job with that. I thought our defense was pretty solid from start to finish.”
Bailey Pode scored all but one of her game-high 14 points in the opening half for the Cavs and finished with a game-best 12 rebounds. Addie Duttlinger had 11 points, four rebounds and six steals. Phoebe Shetterly (three steals) and Grace Miller added eight points and eight rebounds each. Kaylee Abens (five rebounds, five steals), Addison Urbanski and Jasmine Garman (five rebounds, six assists) scored five points each.
La Salle-Peru held the Bobcats to just 14% (5-of-37) shooting, forced 31 turnovers (23 steals) and won the rebounding battle 51-25.
“We also talked about putting mistakes when they happen behind us and move on,” Spencer said. “In our first three games we’ve done way too much worrying about mistakes and letting them turn into more because of not hustling to get back or allowing second-chance rebounds. That was much better as well.
“To really be honest, we also talked about playing with pride. That’s not only possessions after a score or a good defensive play, but it’s every possession.”
Somonauk-Leland (0-3), who may be without All-Little Ten Conference guard Josie Rader for the season after an injury at the end of the volleyball season, struggled much of the night on both ends of the floor.
“We were obviously nowhere near as consistent as we need to be tonight in really any facet of the game,” Somonauk-Leland coach Jason Zaleski said, his team falling to 0-3. “We’d have one possession where we did all the things we want to do correctly, then, four, five or six in a row where we didn’t. There aren’t many teams that are successful that can take multiple possessions off, especially on defense, and still win games.”
Haley McCoy paced the Bobcats with four points, five rebounds and two steals, while Kennedy Barshinger had four points and three rebounds.
“I knew not having Josie on the floor we’d struggle, and we have so far,” Zaleski said. “We also don’t have senior Morgan Potter right now with an injury and we had a couple more injuries tonight. However, none of that is an excuse for the players we have on the floor to be getting beat back on defense.
“We did have some very good moments tonight, but just weren’t able to put many of them together back-to-back.”
Somonauk-Leland finishes up its tournament playing Dwight on Friday at 8 p.m. La Salle-Peru is now off until Saturday, November 25th when it opens its home season at 2 p.m. against Rock Falls.