If the Edison girls basketball team is going to make any headway this season against the heavyweight teams of the Sandusky Bay Conference, it will need to have a successful pressure defense.
In Friday’s 70-27 season opening win at Monroeville against a young Eagles team, the Chargers showed pressure in forcing turnovers and scoring easy baskets in transition.
“That’s the way we want to play,” Edison coach Jim Colwell said. “We have to work on the short game with jumpers and halfcourt, but we have to pressure people and we do have people that can get after it.
“We played well. We were happy with how things went overall.”
Monroeville, with just two seniors on the roster under first year coach Brad Dunlap, came out aggressive and only trailed 6-5 on a Brooke Barnett basket with five minutes left in the opening quarter.
Edison closed the door for good from that point forward, however, finishing the quarter with a 13-3 scoring run that pushed the lead out to 19-8 at the end of the first quarter.
Edison’s defensive pressure took charge in the second quarter as layups by Abbey Cox and Susan Knight off a pair of turnovers in the Monroeville backcourt allowed Edison to jump out to a 26-8 lead.
Another 14-7 run to close out the quarter made it 40-15 at the half.
“We have to find someone to handle the ball consistently. We’re kind of struggling with that,” Dunlap said. “Some of the girls obviously saw varsity for the first time tonight and Edison is a veteran team playing an SBC schedule.
“I think they’re a good team, and we’re getting better. But it’s a process.”
The second half went much like the first with Edison holding scoring advantages of 17-5 in the third quarter and 13-7 in the fourth.
In all, 10 players scored for the Chargers with Knight leading the way with 14 points while Cox added 12 and Ciara Reed and Lauren Dunnavant each added nine.
“It was nice to see what we can do and see who can score,” Colwell said. “The girls came out hard from the start.”
Despite the lopsided win, the Chargers were just 18-of-40 (45 percent).
“In practice we’ve really been hitting them,” Colwell said. “We shoot ten each time before we get a drink, and I tell them they usually have to hit 70 percent.
“I’d say 85 percent of the time we do that. But that was one of the things that hurt us last year so we’ll have to continue to work at it.”
Barnett scored nearly half of Monroeville’s points, finishing with 13. No other player for the Eagles finished with more than one field goal.
“I kind of expected what I saw and knew going in what kind of team we had,” Dunlap said. “I’ve been telling these girls from the beginning that we have to get better every time we do something.”
Monroeville hosts Seneca East on Tuesday while Edison hosts Vermilion on Wednesday.
Zoe Gastier 3-0—6, Danielle Wilhelm 1-2—4, Chelsea Frankboner 1-1—3, Susan Knight 6-2—14, Ciara Reed 2-5—9, Abbey Cox 5-2—12, Lauren Dunnavant 3-3—9, Lauren Teed 1-0—2, Leah Sabol 2-2—6, Carmen Tinnel 2-1—5. Totals 26-18—70.
Makaleigh Thibaut 0-2—2, Brooke Barnett 3-6—13, Morgan Rarick 1-2—4, Amy Ruffing 1-1—3, Krista Gerber 1-0—2, Cortney Drumm 1-1—3. Totals 7-12—27.
Edison 19 21 17 13 — 70
Monroeville 8 7 5 7 — 27