There is a tendency for successful teams to go through a rough stretch at this time of year. The excitement of the early season has worn off and the anticipation of the upcoming postseason hasn’t yet kicked in, creating a chance for an emotional letdown.
The London High School girls basketball team wasn’t exactly sharp to begin its road trip to neighboring Jonathan Alder Monday, Jan. 9, but the team found a way to pull things together in the second half and come away with a hard-fought 56-50 non-league victory.
“The biggest thing was we picked up our effort and intensity in the second half,” Red Raiders coach Kevin Long said. “Playing late Saturday and not really having a chance to prepare for a good Alder team Monday, we were a little off.
“That’s a good team that plays in a tough division in their league. They’ve been in every game they’ve played. For us to go in there and come away with a win is big for us.”
With the win the Raiders improved their overall record to 12-1. Alder dropped to 5-7 but it wasn’t due to lack of effort.
The host Pioneers jumped out to an 19-10 lead after the first quarter and was still ahead 27-21 at the half. But that’s when London started to play better and started to get its shots to fall.
Emily Minner and Malorie Colwell both scored 15 points in the victory. Kaitlin Patterson (eight) and Karlie Alexander (seven) also had solid offensive nights for the red hot Raiders.
The Pioneers got a team-high 14 points from Sydney Bourquin and 12 from McKenna Huff.
In its lone loss of the season, a contest against state-ranked Miami Trace, London had some execution issues on both ends of the floor. In the time since then, those issues have been worked on and the results are beginning to show.
“We had some things we needed to work on after the Miami Trace game and now you can see those changes happening on the court,” Long said. “I’m happy with the progress this team is making.”
London will return to Mid-State League Ohio Division play Friday when it travels to a Worthington Christian (9-4, 4-2) for a key matchup starting at 7:30 p.m. The Red Raiders are 6-0 in league play.
“Worthington Christian is going to be a dog fight,” Long said. “They have one of the best players in Central Ohio (Bridgette Rettstatt), a lot of how the game goes will come down to how we play her.”
London won the first meeting between the two 52-47, but Rettstatt scored 34 points for the Warriors.
Alder will play host to neighboring Fairbanks Wednesday, Jan. 11. It will then play at Marion Harding Saturday, Jan. 14. Both games will tip at 7:30 p.m.
Newark Catholic 54,
Shekinah Christian 46
The Flames (9-3), playing their third game in four days ran out of gas in a non-league tilt against visiting Newark Catholic Monday.
Mandi Scheffel (15), Kloe Yutzy (13) and Natalie Headings (11) all reached double figures in the loss.
The defeat came after the Flames won a pair of games over the weekend. They edged Granville Christian 35-32 Friday, Jan. 6 and knocked off Horizon Science 46-32 Saturday, Jan. 7.
Yutzy scored 14 in the win over Granville Christian, while Scheffel was the top scorer in the win over Horizon Science.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.