CADIZ – A 2-0 record to start the season may not seem like much to get most programs excited. But for Meadowbrook, who hasn’t accomplished those feet since 2005, it’s a big deal.
That’s why the Colts, who come off a convincing 48-18 road win at Harrison Central, perhaps seemed a little more excited.
First-year head coach Chris Mills noted how much of a win it was, both in the context of the last decade or so of MHS women’s hoops, but also a win against a team that has broke a 16-8 record that fired three starters, including his best player.
The last time Meadowbrook started 2-0 was in 2003.
Much of this victory? Sales figures.
Meadowbrook forced 20 turnovers using a mobile press across the court.
“Our goal is to be a super aggressive defensive team”, Mills explained. “We want to be recognized as one of the best. This team was 16-8 last year and brought back a lot of experience. We got out and executed. This first half of basketball, I can’t ask for anything more.
The Colts forced seven turnovers in Harrison’s first eight trips to home soil. The results were a 13-4 lead at Meadowbrook after one, a lead he never gave up.
It was a stark contrast to the Huskies’ double-digit victory over Bellaire to start the season. In this contest, Harrison handled the ball much better.
Head coach Nick Yourkovich hopes the first game, not the second, will be more representative of his team’s capabilities for the season. Even if it’s a bit of both, the Huskies were far from their best on Wednesday.
After all, Yourkovich’s team fired two of their three starting goalies and Dunkle is a four-year-old starter. They saw a press or two in their days. But on Wednesday, this knowledge of how to consistently beat him wasn’t quite computerized.
“We have two or three year old starters and Mckayla has been doing it for four years. “ said Yourkovich. “We have enough experience to handle this so hopefully it was just a night off. But they came out and got the upper hand and were a lot more aggressive and physical than us. “
The trend continued in the second quarter. Harrison, aside from Dunkle’s seven points at halftime, couldn’t do anything offensively. Even the Huskies’ top scorer lacked her usual aggressiveness in paint.
Dunkle scored 11 points, added 10 rebounds blocked a few shots, it wasn’t the total dominance Yourkovich used to see.
“We weren’t aggressive, even McKayla wasn’t normal herself,” said Yourkovich.
“We weren’t aggressive and we need to fix that. We have two days off, away from everyone and we can meet up on Saturday and get ready for Buckeye Local. “
Freshman Kaily Banal backed Dunkle with five.
Across the hall, Meadowbrook registered four players with between eight and 12 points. Second-year student Kenli Norman and junior Kaylynn Gombeda evenly shared 24 points for a balanced effort.
Norman worked high peaks and his dribble, weaving through traffic while attacking the basket. Gombeda, meanwhile, was doing the dirty work as six of her points came directly from missed baskets.
Gombeda added 11 rebounds – seven on offense.
Right behind were his sophomore Karly Launder and senior Loryn Ogle. Ogle knocked down a trio of treys in the first half and played a solid ground game, adding five assists, a pair of steals and three rebounds. Launder backed her with eight points.
Mills was excited about the balanced attacking effort. But it was the defensive effort that really got him excited.
“Harrison Central is a pretty good basketball team,” he said. “But we’re going (forming teams) to turn basketball around. We have grown so much this offseason to be disciplined in the press and fly with our hands in the air.
Harrison Central won the junior varsity competition, 18-13. Meadowbrook was led by rookie Emma Webster, who dropped eight points.
The Colts will face Philo on Saturday afternoon.
Meadowbrook 48, Harrison Central 18
Meadowbrook 13 22 11 2 – 48
Harrison Central 4 5 4 5 – 18
M – Normand 5-18 1-2 12; Blanch 4-7 0-0 8; May 2-2, 0-0 5; Canon 1-2 0-0 2; Ogle 3-9 0-0 9; Gombeda 5-9 -2 12; ; Webster0-1 0-0 0; Lasko 0-1 0-0 0; Combs 0-0 0-0 0; A. Combs 0-0 0-0 0; Totals: 20-48 3-4 48.
H – Dunkle 5-12 0-2 11; Fischer 1-6 0-0 2 Butler 0-3 0-0 0; Ferry 0-2 0-0 0; Harbold 0-4 0-0 0; Banal 2-8 0-0 5; Lewis 0-1 0-0 0; Ledger 0-1 0-0 0; Totals: 7-37; 0-2 18
3-point goals: Norman, May, Ogle 3; Dunk, Banal