By Derek Hoelsy


BRODHEAD – Lady Cardinal girls basketball team (13-2 overall, 9-1 Rock Valley Conference) had no problem beating Evansville 75-40.

The Rock Valley crossover contest was held last Thursday.

Brodhead set the tone, jumping out to an 8-0 lead three minutes into the game.

The Cards’ deadly trio all made their presence felt, as senior Amber Pickel attacked the basket for an uncontested layup, sophomore Erin Nyhus connected on a jumperand senior Kylie Moe converted a fast break layup.

“At the start of the game, I didn’t think mentally we were ready to play,” said Coach Brian Kammerer. “When you deal with finals week, it’s tough to get the kids to realize that this is an outlet for them, and we have to be mentally tougher during weeks like this.

“We discussed some things at halftime, and I thought the girls responded,” Kammerer said.

Apparently, they did. The lead would balloon to 13-2, as Moe dialed up a three-pointer off supreme ball movement. She hit a pair of free throws after getting fouled on a drive.

Evansville had no answer for Moe as she had a game-high 30 points.

“We have kids that can knock down shots,” Kammer said. “It’s not just Kylie, but anytime Kylie lets the ball go, you think it has a chance of going in.

“What’s nice is we have a couple more kids that can do that as well. I like how our team plays unselfish basketball. If we’re going to succeed, it has to be as a team and not just a few individuals. I think the girls have bought into that,” Kammerer said.

Midway through the opening half, Evansville went on a 5-0 run to cut Brodhead’s lead to 17-9.

Hayley Krause capitalized on a Cardinals’ turnover, scoring on a fast break layup, and Amanda Larson dialed up a three-pointer.

On a night when the offense performed nearly perfectly, turnovers were the only area that had coach Kammerer disappointed.

“We should have been taking care of the ball a lot better than we did tonight,” agreed Moe. “That’s what we got yelled at for in the locker room for having probably 20 turnovers against a team that we shouldn’t have 20 turnovers against.

“We had to take care of the ball betterand I thought in the second half we did,” Moe said.

“I was frustrated with how we handled the ball,” Kammerer said. “Our turnovers were from what we were doing more than their defense. We knew that they were gong to come out with a 3-2 defense, but we have to be more careful with the basketball especially down the stretch.

“We have a tough stretch ahead of us, and if we don’t take care of the ball, it’s going to be a long night,” Kammerer said.

The Cardinals took complete control of the game with an 11-0 run to go up 28-9 with six minutes left in the first half.

Pickel sparked the key run with a pull-up at the free throw elbow. Moe capped the run with a contested drive.

During the run, junior Catherine Hazeltine buried a mid-range jumper. Kammerer knows that if Hazeltine can keep hitting that mid-range jumper consistently, the Cardinals will be that much harder to stop offensively. Another Hazeltine jumper off excellent ball movement extended the lead to 30-11.

“It’s important that we get more than Nyhus, Amber and me involved,” Moe said. “Teams might close out a little harder on some of us, but it’s really important and awesome that Cat and Morgan can do things like rebounding.

“Or when we’re driving, they’re there to shoot mid-range jump shots on kick outs. That’s really important to make this team work. We can’t be three-dimensional. We have to be five- dimensional if we want to do anything,” Moe said.

“That’s what Hazletine has to do for us to be successful,” Kammer said. Teams can game-plan for three players, but it’s harder to game-plan for five. The more players that we can get to contribute, the more success we will have late in the season.”

Late in the half, Krause converted on putback and also scored on a transition layup to slice the deficit to 30-15. Krause scored all eight of her points in the first half.

Brodhead took all the momentum into halftime. Pickel knocked down two free throws. Ssenior Cameron Novy scored on a putback on the Cardinals last possession. Novy provided solid minutes off the bench for the Cardinals. Brodhead took a commanding 40-20 lead at intermission.

The Cardinals didn’t let up to start the second half as Brodhead erupted for a 12-0 run to go up 52-20. During the run, Moe executed a beautiful hesitation dribble and blew past her defenderfor an uncontested layup and Pickel had a conventional three-point play. Nyhus leaked out for a transition layup off an excellent outlet pass by Moe.

“The start of the game might have been score-wise stretched out more than what it felt like,” Moe said of the 12-0 run. “We didn’t feel like we were up that much, and Mr. Kammerer came in and chewed us out at half time.

“That’s why we had a little bit of fire in us coming out in the second half on that huge run. Evansville wasn’t a bad team. We just got on runs and hit some shots.”

After an inside basket by Samantha Eftemoff, the Cardinals responded with a 9-0 run to go up 61-22. Nyhus dialed up a long range bucket to ignite the run. Brodhead continued to display excellent team play. Junior Morgan Cook finished on the block off an excellent bounce pass by Novy to end the run.

Evansville went on a 9-0 run midway through the second half to cut the Cardinals’ lead to 69-35. Larson connected on back-to-back three-pointers to ignite the Blue Devils. Larson was a bright spot for Evansville. She had a team-high 14 points, including four three-pointers.

With the large lead, Kammerer was able to play his reserves for an extended period of time in the second half.

Pickel had 16 points, including 7-for-7 from the free throw line for Brodhead. Nyhus added 11 points for the Cardinals.

Brodhead traveled to Edgerton for a Rock Valley crossover battle yesterday, Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Pickel all smiles (1)