Stockaders bounce back in a big way

After being soundly defeated in season opener, Old Fort takes care of New Riegel

PHOTO BY ZACH BAKER New Riegel’s Brooklyn Gillig is doubled by Old Fort’s Kristin Baker (5) and Ashlyn Magers Tuesday in Old Fort.

OLD FORT — When a team loses its first game of the season by 57 points, the rest of the season could either snowball, or it could be turned around with a win next time out.

Old Fort did the latter Tuesday night.

The Stockaders were humbled in their opener against a good Margaretta squad, but coach Tim Ritzler said he liked the response and his senior leadership really shined after the loss.

It carried over into Tuesday as Old Fort dominated New Riegel 45-28 in a key early-season Sandusky Bay Conference River Division matchup.

“I thought the mood after the game Friday is what I wanted. I had a few seniors step up and make some comments and we did well in our scrimmages,” Ritzler said. “We scrimmaged Bellevue, who is up there with Margaretta for the most part, so we were going in expecting to be competitive in that game and we simply weren’t.

“The mood after was that we needed to get better and Saturday we had our best practice and we fed off of that and came out tonight and we executed our game play defensively and took good shots offensively. We really kind of showed we really aren’t as bad as that first game indicated and we showed we are pretty darn good team when we play up to our level and take care of the ball.”

Old Fort (1-1, 1-0 SBC River) got out to a great start after trailing 3-2 after a Bria Dailey 3 for New Riegel. From that point, the Stockaders ended the quarter with a 12-0 run.

It continued into the second quarter as Old Fort led 20-5 at the 6:04 mark.

“The kids knew our leading rebounder (Sydney Hohman) was home sick and that kind of hurt us on the boards (44-25). We got killed on the boards and we had some kids playing out of position tonight,” NR coach Cindy Walerius said. “They just didn’t know the offense and that’s my fault. I have to make sure they know each position because this is going to happen. You’ll have an injury or someone is sick and you have to know each position and that hurt us offensively tonight.

“They played great defense and (the referees) let them play tonight. I thought it was very physical out there tonight.”

The Stockaders led 28-13 at the half.

New Riegel (1-1, 0-1) had a chance to get back in the game with a strong start to the second half, but instead Old Fort’s Kara Davidson converted an and-one and Jordan Reineck made a layup to push the lead to 33-13.

New Riegel got as close as 15 points in the fourth, but couldn’t come all the way back.

Brooklyn Gillig, who was in some foul trouble early in the contest, was held to 13 points, with seven of them coming in the fourth period.

“That’s the focus when you’re playing them because pretty much everything goes through her. She’s a tremendous ball handler and a good shooter and good at getting to the basket and drawing fouls,” Ritzler said of Gillig. “That’s what we talked about. She’s going to get her points, we just need to make it as hard as possible on her and I thought we did that for the most part.

“In the halfcourt, I thought Jordan, Kristin (Baker) and Ashlyn (Magers) — all three that guarded her — all did well making her work for it because she’s a good player. She’s going to score, but have to make it tough on her.”

Bouillon had seven points and eight rebounds for the Blue Jackets.

“Give (Old Fort) credit … they played really well,” Walerius said. “We’ll get better from this.”

Reineck led the way for the Stockaders with 13 points and seven rebounds, while Davidson posted a double-double of 11 points and 15 boards and Aly Pence dropped in eight points. Chloe Wilkinson chipped in 11 rebounds.

“Not only did we bounce back and get us some confidence, but it was a good league win when you start off 1-0 against one of the teams that will probably be there at the end with us and Hopewell-Loudon, but also they are in our district,” Ritzler said. “When you look down the line and you have a win over someone like that, it looks good on your resume. This game was important for us for a lot of different reasons.”