By MICHAEL BURWELL
HAMLER — Patrick Henry and Napoleon’s girls basketball teams entered Monday’s nonconference game with streaks heading in opposite directions.
Unfortunately for the Patriots, that trend continued.
Napoleon picked up its ninth straight win while handing the Patriots their fourth straight loss as the Wildcats cruised to a 48-28 win.
“Early in the game, our execution and our focus and our effort was terrible defensively and because of that, we got in a hole,” Patrick Henry coach Kyle Tietje said. “We allowed them to set up their press, which affected us on offense.
“We told the girls our game plan defensively was not on display because we got behind. We couldn’t do what we wanted to do defensively.”
Patrick Henry (6-7) lost to Napoleon 49-45 in overtime in the Northwest Signal Holiday Classic championship game on Dec. 22. It was the first of the Patriots’ four straight losses.
Monday’s rematch was dominated by Napoleon from the start.
The Wildcats (10-2), who ran a patient motion offense with plenty of ball movement, jumped out to a 12-2 lead with 2:50 left in the first quarter after Olivia Behnfeldt’s drive for a reverse layup. Katie Wagner answered with a left-handed bucket for Patrick Henry 14 seconds later.
Jessica Bostelman’s drive and shot for a bucket cut Patrick Henry’s deficit to 12-6 with 7:19 left in the second quarter.
It was the closest Patrick Henry would get the rest of the game.
Napoleon coach Corey Kreinbrink called a timeout shortly after Bostelman’s bucket because of the Wildcats’ slow start to the quarter.
His team responded.
Lexi Woods found Carlie Kruse, a 6-foot-senior, inside on the first play out of the timeout, and on the next possession, Behnfeldt found Kruse for a score inside to give Napoleon a 16-6 lead with 4:21 left in the half.
“We were kind of standing around offensively. We were trying to run some different stuff and we just looked like we were confused,” Kreinbrink said. “So we just called that timeout and reviewed some stuff, kind of reviewed what we wanted to do offensively. We wanted to really get it into the paint and be assertive in there.”
Napoleon took a 10-point lead, 21-11, at halftime. Wagner’s drive for a bucket early in the third quarter cut Napoleon’s lead to 21-13, but the Wildcats ended the quarter on a 12-5 run to build a 33-18 lead.
Patrick Henry, which normally runs a zone defense, was forced to play man-to-man throughout the game due to Napoleon’s patience on offense.
“We knew we had to come out and guard them and we couldn’t do it,” Tietje said. “We don’t play man-to-man defense much, let alone work on guarding ball screens, and they ate us alive with it.”
Kruse, who scored a game-high 13 points, added back-to-back baskets in the paint to build Napoleon’s lead to 39-20 with 5:47 left.
“Carlie, she came to play tonight,” Kreinbrink said. “She did a good job, she was really assertive down low and she can be a really good player. She got us going, she got that lead built up and in the second half, she really helped us keep it.”
Napoleon’s full-court press helped cause 17 Patrick Henry turnovers.
“We weren’t getting to where we were supposed to be. Our focus was bad,” Tietje said. “Just walking around and if we’re not in our spots, we’re not the quickest team or the most athletic team.
“We’re not just going to dribble through presses, so we have to do it as a team and it only takes one person not being where they’re supposed to be to screw it up. That was the common theme in the first half.”
Wagner led Patrick Henry with 11 points, while Bostelman scored nine. Courtney Rosebrook snatched a game-high seven rebounds.
The Patriots, however, shot just 31 percent (10 of 32) from the floor and made just one 3-pointer, a Wagner trey with 2:43 left in the game.
Behnfeldt (11 points) also scored in double figures for Napoleon, while Bethany Blackwood added eight points and a team-high five rebounds.
Kruse 6-1–13, Behnfeldt 5-1–11, Blackwood 4-0–8, Wiemken 2-2–6, Woods 2-1–5, Nye 1-1–3, Rieger 1-0–2, Schroeder 0-0–0, Cramer 0-0–0, Waisner 0-0–0. TOTALS: 21-37 6-12 “” 48.
PATRICK HENRY (6-7)
Wagner 4-2–11, Bostelman 3-3–9, Rosebrook 2-0–4, Imbrock 1-0–2, Prigge 0-2–2, Drewes 0-0–0, Seedorf 0-0–0, Frania 0-0–0. TOTALS: 10-32 7-10 “” 28.
Napoleon 12 9 12 15 — 48
Patrick Henry 4 7 7 10 — 28
3-POINT GOALS: Napoleon 0-2; Patrick Henry 1-8 (Wagner).
REBOUNDS: Napoleon 22 (Blackwood 5); Patrick Henry 16 (Rosebrook 7).
TURNOVERS: Napoleon 11, Patrick Henry 17.
JUNIOR VARSITY: Napoleon, 33-28.
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