STANTON — Montabella’s girls basketball team “outplayed” Central Montcalm, according to Green Hornets coach Marty James.
The result was a 53-27 win by the Mustangs over Central in a nonconference game Monday night.
“They (Montabella) just outplayed us every capacity in basketball, period,” James said. “Their girls came with a purpose and we didn’t.”
The first thing Montabella (11-5) did was jump out to a 9-2 run until there was 2:41 left in the first period. That would be a familiar theme throughout the night.
“The first quarter we were just hungry,” Montabella coach Terry Larsen said. “After last week we had two tough losses. We had to get after it right away and that’s what we told the girls. They went after it full-court man(-to-man defense) and run as fast as they can.”
It gave the Mustangs a 12-6 lead over the Hornets (4-10) after one quarter. But Montabella went on a 12-0 run over the first 3:11 of the second quarter, led by six from Sarah Miller.
“The second quarter we did change the defense up a little bit, went to a half-court man and did some zone,” Larsen said. “We wanted to find out what was working and what was not working.”
It worked so good that Central got six points in the quarter — all from Kortney McKeown. But she scored just one field goal to go with the two her teammates had in the first for three field goals at the half and a 28-12 deficit.
At that point Miller had 12 points, mostly from close range.
“We didn’t have an answer for her (Miller),” James said. “We were going to double(-team) her and collapse on her in the low post and she’s a very good ball player and before we could collapse she was making a move to the bucket.”
The Hornets didn’t score their first point of the third quarter until there was 4:03 left in it, and they fell deeper into a hole at the end, trailing 43-19 at that point.
Just 20 seconds into the fourth quarter the game was delayed for over 45 minutes when Montabella’s Rebekah Irani was taken off the court on a stretcher after diving for a loose ball. She sat up but never moved until paramedics arrived with the stretcher. She was taken to the hospital.
“Her (Irani’s) lower back has been giving her problems all year and when she went down she twisted when she hit,” Larsen said. “I don’t know from there.”
Miller finished with 21 points, and Taylor Smith added nine more to lead the Mustangs.
McKeown had seven points, tops on the Hornets. Kirsi Singh came off the bench in the fourth quarter and scored five.
Central will make up a game against Holton on Wednesday night. James vows to address the team’s deficiencies in practice today.
“Hopefully we come ready to play,” James said. “We weren’t ready to play (Monday night). That’s as much my responsibility as the girls. So I will take care of what I need to take care of (today) in practice. But the girls have to respond and do the things the girls are coached to do.”
Montabella, meanwhile, will try to get players healthy before Thursday’s game against Ashley. The Mustangs were playing without Cheyann Frasle and Allison Lumbert, who had the flu, and Allie Ball, who was injured and out for the year. “
We hope to get 80 percent of them back, so that’s what we’re shooting for,” Larsen said.