Blue Devils stand alone
CAREY – When the score to the New Riegel-Calvert game was announced, Carey’s crowd let out a cheer.
But there was no celebration on the sidelines, and nothing after the game.
The Blue Devils still have work to do, and they know it.
Carey’s drama-less 73-37 crushing of North Baltimore Thursday, combined with the Senecas’ 64-53 win over the Blue Jackets in Tiffin, gave Carey a share of the Midland Athletic League title.
Carey can clinch the outright title next week, when it travels to Fremont to take on St. Joe.
“It is what it is, but we’re not talking about it,” Vaughn said of the share. “We’ve got another game to play here, and we don’t want to slip up.”
There was no slipping up against the short-handed Tigers, who came into Thursday with their tallest player – 5-foot-9 Olivia Frost – out with an illness.
In addition to that, Mackenzie Stewart was hit in the face in the first half and was taken to the hospital, and later, Courtney Bretz and Maddie Ray left with injuries.
It was too much to overcome for North Baltimore, which was overwhelmed by Carey’s Hannah Tong. Tong had 17 points in the first half, and finished with 23 points and eight rebounds. She left the game early in the third quarter, which Carey already leading by more than 30.
“Physically, she’s just so much more than what we have right now,” North Baltimore coach Greg Frost said. “We weren’t physically ready to go, mentally ready to go – including myself. It’s been a difficult week.”
Frost said Stewart had “a knot on the side of her cheek the size of a golf ball.” He said he wasn’t sure if she had suffered a concussion.
“We’re gonna check up on her and make sure she’s doing all right,” he said.
Tong was the only Blue Devil to score in double figures, making 10 2-point baskets.
“I always say, and she’ll say the same thing, that she runs the floor well, but the guards do a good job of getting her the ball,” Vaughn said. “Rebounding-wise, she uses her athletic ability.”
Hannah Draper had nine points and six assists for the Blue Devils, who improved to 16-3, 8-1 in the MAL.
North Baltimore was held to just 13 points in the first half.
“I just think defensively is where it started for us,” Vaughn said. “I know Wright had 31 last week against Hopewell[-Loudon] … we knew she was someone we were not gonna help off of very much.”
Wright had nine points and six assists. North Baltimore (8-12, 3-6) was led by Raegan Fleckner, who had 11 points.
For the Blue Devils, Logan Johnson had nine points and eight rebounds, while Sydney Wentling had 10 points.
Carey’s attention now turns to next Thursday’s game with the Streaks. It will be the last time the Blue Devils and St. Joe will play in the Thunderdome as conference rivals.
St. Joe lost to Hopewell-Loudon Thursday, 61-46, and has won just two MAL games.
But Vaughn said you shouldn’t take Gary Geller’s team lightly.
“They’ve played a lot of teams strong, and they’re gonna be ready for us,” Vaughn said.