By Timothy Kays
BRYAN: February 19, 2014 – The big question in BBC girls’ hoops this year has been focused on the opponents of the Hilltop Lady Cadets. The question is, how do you keep 1,000-point scorer and BBC Player of the Year candidate Hannah Bleikamp in check…without allowing Emily Armbruster to take you to the proverbial cleaners in the process?
For the third time in the 2013-14 campaign, the Edon Lady Bombers were tasked with that ‘pick your poison’ conundrum as both teams kicked off the D-IV Sectionals in Bryan on February 19. The Edon defense held Bleikamp to just seven points in the first half, a job well done. The X-factor from Armbruster more than made up the difference though, as she went off for 17 in the first half and a game-high total of 25 as the Lady Cadets ran roughshod over the Belles in Bomber Blue, 73-40.
Edon’s problems were not relegated to their defense though; they also had to solve the defense of the Lady Cadets, and the pressure created more difficulties for the Lady Bombers. Despite racking up an impressive 12 points against the Hilltop ‘D’, they turned the ball over six times in the first period, allowing the Lady Cadets to jump out to a 19-12 lead that would never be threatened. Hilltop Coach Aaron Schmidt dialed back the pressure in the second period, but by that time the Running Red put the baby to bed. Hilltop held a 36-21 lead at the intermission, and even with their JVs getting time on the floor, the Lady Bombers simply were outgunned at every turn, leading to the lopsided margin at the final buzzer.
Bleikamp finished with 15 points in support of Armbruster for Hilltop, with Le Ann Joost adding 8 points and Kailey Creamer 7. Felicity Jackson put in 5 points, Cierra Grant had 4, Destiny Denton, Allie Schmitt, Bailey Funkhouser, Karissa Crisenbery and Julia Dunson each had 2 points, and Kenly Brown put in a free throw.
The Edon loss draws to a close the Lady Bomber hoops careers of Baylee Gearhart, Jordan Matthews, Hannah Brehm-Gutting, Kaitlyn Manahan and Valerie Parrish.
The Lady Bombers finished the season with an 0-10/3-19 mark. They were led by Kaitlyn Sonneberger with 16 points, and Gearhart with 9. Alex Kiess had 5 points, Kaitlin Chrisman 4, and Matthews, Brehm-Gutting and Shaylee Manahan each had a deuce.
SCORING BY QUARTER:
Hilltop 19 17 14 23 – 73
Edon 12 9 8 11 – 40
Timothy Kays can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org