Hot shooting lifts Blue Devils

BASCOM – It was an exaggeration to be sure. But not by a whole lot.

“What did you shoot? Like 80 percent?” Hopewell-Loudon coach Rod Daniel said he asked Carey counterpart Phil Vaughn regarding the Blue Devils’ effort in the first half of their Midland Athletic League game here Thursday night.

It was 56 percent for those who were counting. That is, unless he was referring to 3-point shooting. The number jumped to 64 percent from that range.

Regardless, the Blue Devils were on their game like never before in building a 44-14 halftime lead and cruising to a 66-37 win.

“Oh yeah. That was our best half of the season – shooting and on defense,” Vaughn said after his club improved to 9-1 overall and 4-1 in league play.

“We moved our feet on defense and we took good shots,” he said. “They were good shots that came after good passes.”

Ali Rymer scored on a putback and Sydney Wentling hit a 3-pointer and in a matter of 90 seconds, the Blue Devils had established two of the more prominent components of a crushing offensive attack.

Carey out-rebounded the Chieftains 9-2 in the first quarter, 18-6 in the first half and 36-21 for the game. And Wentling, a 5-foot-8 freshman guard, hit 5-of-6 from 3-point range in the first half on the way to a game-high 17 points.

Three of those long-range goals came in a 1:34 span and turned an 8-6 Carey lead into a 17-7 advantage. The Chieftains had opened in a zone defense designed to limit Carey’s 6-foot-1 post, Hannah Tong, who came in averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds per game.

“She got some really good looks,” Vaughn said of Wentling. “They were really sloughing inside, not just on Hannah, but Ali and Logan (Johnson) as well. It gave our guards some good looks.”

Carey led 23-12 early in the second quarter and then put the game away with 16 unanswered points. Tong, Rymer and Johnson all scored inside while Hannah Draper and Wentling each hit 3-pointers in the burst.

The Blue Devils had hit 15-of-26 from the field at the break. Even more impressive, they were 7-for-11 from 3-point range.

“They shot it well and defended well,” Daniel said. “We were on our heels right from the start and we were never able to get in a groove.

“We didn’t do a good job of getting back on defense and it seemed like we had no idea where their shooters were,” he said. “We knew what they were going to do and they did it to us.”

Carey was scoreless for nearly four minutes to start the second half, but the Chieftains (5-5, 2-3) managed just one basket in that span. They were never able to put together a rally.

Wentling had six rebounds and a couple assists to go with her 17 points. Tong was Carey’s top rebounder with eight, and scored nine points. Rymer also scored nine and three other Blue Devils had six points each.

CJ Hohman scored 16 points to pace Hopewell-Loudon. Courtney Burns added seven points and Danielle Rohrbach had six, while Hope Brickner was the top rebounder with five.

Hopewell-Loudon was limited to 12-for-40 shooting overall and was just 4-for-16 at halftime.

“We just did a good job of moving our feet and keeping ourselves between them and the basket,” Vaughn said. “We did a good job of not letting them get easy dump-downs to (Rohrbach) and their other bigs.”

And at the other end, they shot like 80 percent. Or so it seemed.