Calvert zeros in on a win against Lakota

KANSAS – Tim Ritzler was looking for a little extra defense. His Calvert girls responded with zero effort, which was a good thing.

The Senecas allowed zero points against Lakota in the first quarter here Thursday night and continued to blank the Raiders for nearly three more minutes into the second period.

In the process, Calvert built a 24-point lead and pretty much had its way the rest of the night in a 61-17 Midland Athletic League win.

“Defense was one of the things we really wanted the girls to focus on tonight,” Ritzler said after his club closed the regular season at 16-5 overall and 7-3 in the league play, good for third place behind Carey and New Riegel.

“All year, we’ve been a pretty good offensive team, but I think there are some areas where we can improve defensively,” he said. “It was good to see us come out and play with that much intensity right off the bat. We were able to get stops early, put some points on the board and get a comfortable lead.”

Calvert pressured the Raiders into 11 first-quarter turnovers. Meanwhile, the Senecas had six different girls score in the first quarter with Kate Brickner getting a pair of 3-pointers and Ashley Perry added another.

It was 7-0 in a matter of a minute-and-a-half, causing Raider coach Mike Miller to call timeout. The margin was 14-0 when Miller asked for time again.

The Seneca lead was 17-0 at the quarter break and three more Calvert girls got into the scoring act early in the second period for a 24-0 lead. Morgan Gangwer’s foul shot finally put the Raiders on the board with 5:22 to go in the half.

“About halfway through the second quarter, I called a timeout and got into them pretty good,” Miller said. “For us to even be competitive, we have to play high pressure defense.

“For whatever reason, we started out just laying back and not pressuring the ball,” he said. “We started to pick up the pressure some in the middle of the second quarter and on into the third and we played much better.”

The Senecas led 33-7 at the half and pushed the margin to 43-12 heading into the fourth despite 10 turnovers of their own in the quarter. The Raiders, hitting just 4 of 36 from the field through three quarters and 6 for 48 for the game, were unable to gain any ground.

Brickner had four 3-pointers on the way to 14 points for Calvert. Lindsey Bickley added nine points, Margaret Bowers had eight, Taylor Ritzler seven and Ashley Perry and Nicole Bickley six apiece. Morgan Mowry topped the Raiders with seven points.

“We’ve got a good bench and tonight, I thought we got some nice contributions there,” Ritzler said. “Kate led us with 14, but we had some nice balance after that.”

Calvert also doubled up the Raiders in rebounding, 47-23. Samantha Beckley had 11 boards and Nicole Bickley grabbed 10.

The Senecas face Hopewell-Loudon in the Division IV sectional Wednesday at Columbian. The winner plays either Old Fort or Monroeville for the championship.

Lakota (4-15, 1-8) has a makeup game tonight against St. Wendelin before preparing for Cardinal Stritch in Wednesday’s Division IV sectional at Gibsonburg.