STANTON — Central Montcalm’s girls basketball team was able to take advantage of an overmatched opponent Friday night.
The Green Hornets pounded the Hesperia Panthers 72-12 in a Central State Activities Association game, giving up only six field goals all game to the winless visitors.
“It was a total team effort. Every girl contributed in some way,” Central coach Marty James said. “We challenged them before the game that if we want to change our close losses to wins we have to win every moment no matter who the opponent is. They embraced that and came out and played with a lot of urgency.”
At the end of the first quarter the score was 28-4 Hornets. The Hornets then pitched a shutout in the second quarter.
“We are always better when we can trap and run,” James said. “We were able to create a lot of turnovers early.”
With the score 49-4 Central (4-9, 3-7) at the half, James had the team work on other things.
“We were able to back up into a zone to work on that,” he said. “We had 20 steals, so they created a lot of opportunities for transition buckets.”
The Hornets outscored the Panthers (0-12, 0-10) 23-8 in the second half to get the win. Ten of the 12 Central players scored in the blowout.
“We challenged them to not come out flat, and they came out and created a lot of opportunities right off the bat,” James said. “I’m glad they took the message to heart and played our game. We like to trap and run, and it was good that they responded.”
Alex Barnwell led the Hornets with 13 points. Amber Thomas added 12 points and Courtney McKeown scored another 10, including three field goals from outside the three-point line.
Next up for the Hornets is a trip to Blanchard on Monday to face Montabella in a nonconference game.
“We’re going to play a very very tough Montabella team on Monday,” James said. “It was good that we shot well from the floor. Hopefully it will carry over. You don’t know coming off a weekend with no practice time. We’re not going to have that Monday prep day.”
James already knows a little something about the Mustangs.
“They also transition well,” he said of the Mustangs. “They have a couple of girls that can shoot the ball well, and a lot of varsity experience. They don’t get rattled, and they’re playing a on a high level. We have to have the defense carry over. We’ve had some offensive opportunities, but it’s going to be tough. Montabella is a tough team, and they play at high intensity. We have to match that.”