ST. MARYS – Johnsonburg (4-4) jumped out to an early 13-0 lead Thursday afternoon in the consolation game of the Elk County Holiday Basketball Tournament and cruised to a lopsided 41-14 win over Ridgway (0-8).
Johnsonburg senior Justis Myers paced all scorers with 15 points on the day while outscoring the Lady Elkers. Myers finished the 2010 county tournament with 27 points.
One day removed from a 65-36 loss to eventual county champion St. Marys (8-0), the Lady Elkers did not break through the double-digit barrier until the final minutes of Thursday's game.
"I thought we played well [Wednesday against St. Marys] but we were just flat [Thursday], and we couldn't make a shot," said Ridgway head girls' varsity basketball coach Glenn Schauer following the loss. "Once things didn't go our way, the girls had their heads down and we need to work on that.
"We're down by 12 points at the half, we're still in the game and could've come back, but we have to learn to keep pushing."
Down 13-0 in the second quarter, Ridgway finally got on the board after sophomore Katie Oknefski drained two free throws with 7:03 on the clock. A 2-point field goal from junior Nicole Breier cut the lead to 13-4 and another Breier basket down the stretch cut the lead to 10 with 2:13 to go in the first half. A layup from Johnsonburg senior Taylor Harvey set the halftime score at 18-6.
To pressure the Lady Elkers, the Ramettes used a 'trap' defensive scheme where two players double-team whoever possesses the ball. The plan worked for Johnsonburg as the Ramettes caused several turnovers en route to the 27-point victory.
"[The trap] works well when our players do it right but when we do it wrong, we don't get back in time and a good team will get easy layups on you," said Johnsonburg head girls' varsity basketball coach Mike Zilkofski. "But [Thursday], it worked to our advantage."
Despite the successful scheme, Schauer said he was unsure as to why the trap was working against Ridgway.
"We had trouble with that but I don't know why because we've seen it before and we've been over it so we should've been able to break that easily, and we didn't," Schauer said. "We did a real poor job on that and Johnsonburg did OK with it but it wasn't anything special-- we should've been able to break that."
Johnsonburg put the game away by storming out in the second half for a 9-0 run to go up 27-6 midway through the third quarter. A Breier offering under the basket halted the run with 3:05 remaining in the third quarter to cut the lead to 27-8.
Between the third and fourth quarter, the Ramettes ran off another scoring streak, this time a 12-0 run highlighted by 3-pointers from junior TommI Wildnauer and sophomore Rhianon Fowler. It was Fowler's second trey on the night as she finished with eight points.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Ridgway freshman Jenni Thomas and senior Brianna Stenta pushed the Lady Elkers into double figures in the 41-14 loss.
"We're a really young team but we were able to get younger players in so they could gain experience," Schauer said. "They're learning and it's a bunch of sophomores and freshmen but they're all learning. They put in a lot of time and I think they're doing a nice job.
"We have a few players who are injured and I think that's affecting us a lot."
Coming off a 35-29 loss Wednesday against Elk County Catholic as they squandered a seven-point lead, Zilkofski said he was more than happy with his team's turnaround.
"I told our players in the locker room before the game [Thursday against Ridgway] that the Elk County Catholic game is over, it's behind us and we have to focus on Ridgway," Zilkofski said. "Our players came out and ran the zone offense the way it should be, but I wish we could've penetrated more and looked inside a bit more but overall, we passed the ball well and shot well.
"We scored a lot of baskets off the press and to come back against Elk County Catholic and win like we did, I'm happy to be 4-4 right now."
The Ramettes will travel Jan. 7 for a game against Kane, while Ridgway will travel Jan. 5 for a contest against DuBois.
Ridgway – 14
Nicole Breier 3 0-3 6, Brianna Stenta 1 0-0 3, Jenni Thomas 1 0-0 3, Katie Oknefski 0 2-2 2. Totals: 5 2-5 14.
Johnsonburg – 41
Justis Myers 6 3-4 15, Rhianon Fowler 3 0-0 8, Kiana Myers 2 0-0 4, Dani Dwyer 0 3-5 3, TommI Wildnauer 1 0-0 3, Chelsea Benson 1 0-0 2, Taylor Harvey 1 0-0 2, Lydia Hefright 1 0-0 2, Brittany Watts 1 0-0 2, Kassa Kocjancic 0 0-1 0. Totals: 16 6-10 41.
Score by quarters
Ridgway 0 6 2 6 14
Johnsonburg 11 7 12 11 41