New Riegel plays tough defense, downs Hornets

NEW RIEGEL — After an 18-point win over Calvert Thursday night, New Riegel coach Cindy Walerius bemoaned her team’s defense. The win was good, the offense was good.

But the Blue Jacket D needed work.

So the next day in practice she put her players through an unorthodox exercise.

“We got the towels out,” Walerius said. “We had them hold on to the towels and just move their feet. Because, we felt like the other night Calvert really beat us off the dribble. We did not move our feet well, so we got some things out last night.”

“We got towels on our arms at practice the whole time,” New Riegel star Brianna Gillig said. “They worked for us.”

They must have. Gillig scored 30 points in becoming the school’s all-time leading scorer (see related story) and added 11 rebounds and five steals as the Blue Jackets cruised to a 62-25 win over Cory-Rawson.

The Hornets shot just 9 of 40 in the loss, and turned the ball over 27 times.

“Defensively, tonight, I thought we got out on the shooters,” Walerius said after her team improved to 6-7. “I thought our defense was better tonight, but that’s definitely something we’re going to continue to work on this week, because we’ve got some tough games coming up, too.”

Kristin Coleman added nine points for the Blue Jackets, while Brooklyn Gillig had seven points and five steals. Kayleigh Lininger delivered five points and eight rebounds. Lindsay Bouillon added five points and three assists.

The Hornets were taken out of the game early. They trailed 13-2 after one and 32-9 at the half.

Cory-Rawson coach Lauren Cuellar said the focus defensively was trying to contain Brianna Gillig.

“Our goal was just trying to keep her down, keep the points lower than her average,” Cuellar said. “We did really good on-the-ball defense on her. It was, once that shot went up, getting that box out, getting that help side, things like that.”

The Hornets were paced by Samantha Roth, who had 10 points, and by Zoe Chisholm, Sarah Curth, Ayanna Vekaryasz and Hayley Waltz, who had five rebounds each.

“Offensively, it took us a little while to get going,” Cuellar said. “We had a rough offensive game, but Sammy Roth really did step up.”

The Hornets fell to 3-13.

Cory-Rawson has a familiar face on its coaching staff. Ralph Cuellar — who played four seasons of basketball at Tiffin University as well as a season of football — is an assistant coach for the Hornets. He is Lauren Cuellar’s husband.