Waterford improves to 2-0 after dominating win
WATERFORD — After making appearances in three straight state championship games, Waterford began a whole new era of girls basketball Monday night at the Harry Cooper Annex and the young Wildcats made quite a first impression as they rolled to a 60-13 win over the Southern Tornadoes.
The ‘Cats got points from eight different players on offense while their defense forced 32 Southern turnovers.
Freshman guard Cara Taylor led a very balanced Wildcat attack with 18 points as the white and green improved to 2-0 on the young season.
“We looked a lot better tonight than we did in our opener on Thursday night (Trimble) and we are hoping that these young kids just progress each game,” said Waterford head coach Jerry Close. “We played with much better intensity tonight.”
Waterford wasted little time putting some distance between themselves and the Tornadoes as they scored the first nine points all coming from Taylor and sophomore post player Riley Schweikert with five and four respectively.
The Tornadoes got their first bucket of the game from Phoenix Cleland to briefly slow the Waterford momentum but the ‘Cats scored the final six points of the opening quarter to open a 15-2 lead.
Kayla Evans opened the second quarter with a basket for Southern before the Wildcats scored 14 of the final 17 points of the first half to take a commanding 29-7 lead into the intermission
The Waterford defense forced Southern into 18 turnovers and just three field goals in the first 16 minutes of play.
“We played pretty well defensively tonight but we are still making some mistakes,” said Close. “We are young and we know we are going to make mistakes but I think overall we played well and we will get better each game.”
Schwiekert scored the first two field goals of the second half to spark yet another Waterford 12-2 run that pushed their lead to 41-9 midway through the third period of play.
Though the Wildcats did not make a single three-pointer in the game and only attempted a pair, they did shoot 48 percent from the floor (28-58) with 19 of those field goals off of an assist from an unselfish Waterford player.
Joining Taylor in double figures for the Wildcats was Schweikert with 14 and Mackenzie Suprano who came off of the bench to score 12.
54 of the Wildcats’ 60 points came by either freshman or sophomores as a pair of seniors in Rachael Adams and Alicia Dickinson missed the game due to injury.
“I think you are going to see different girls step up each night and lead us each game,” said Close. “With the youth we have expect them to play hard every night and if we do that we are going to win some games this year. It’s all going to be based on our hustle.”
Brier Offenberger had a solid game off of the bench for Waterford as well as she scored five points, pulled down a game-high eight rebounds and tied Emily Keern for the team lead with six steals.
The win was the second consecutive Tri-Valley Conference win for the Wildcats with another conference game scheduled for Thursday at Miller.
Waterford 60, Southern 13
Southern 2 5 4 2 — 13
Waterford 15 14 16 15 — 60
Phoenix Cleveland 3 0-0 6, Kayla Evans 1 3-4 5, Kelly Shaw 1 0-0 2, Jaiden Proffitt 0 0-0 0, Shelby Cleveland 0 0-0 0, Brooke Crisp 0 0-0 0, Caelin Seth 0 0-0 0, Totals: 5 3-4 13. No 3-point goals.
Cara Taylor 8 2-4 18, Emily Kern 1 0-0 2, Mackenzie Suprano 6 0-0 12, Brier Offenberger 2 1-6 5, Sydney Huffman 2 0-0 4, Lilly Franchino 0 0-0 0, Brianna Offenberger 0 0-0 0, Lily Roberts 1 1-2 3, Maggie Huffman 1 0-0 2, Riley Schweikert 7 0-0 14, Totals: 28 4-12 60. No 3-point goals.
Shooting: S: 5-24 (20.8 percent), W: 28-58 (48.3 percent), 3-point shooting: S: 0-1, W: 0-2. Rebounds: S: 12 (P. Cleland 4), W: 34 (B. Offenberger 8), Assists: S: 3 (P. Cleland 2), W: 19 (s. Huffman 5, Suprano 4, Kern 4), Steals: S: 4 (Evans 3), W: 28 (b. Offenberger 6, Kern 6), Turnovers: S: 32, W: 12.
Next game: Waterford at Miller, Thursday