LEBANON — The two-time defending Division II girls basketball champions were more than convincing in the first tournament game of its title defense.
Alter forced 37 turnovers and held Clinton-Massie scoreless for more than two full quarters Wednesday in a 56-11 victory at Lebanon High School in a Division II sectional matchup.
“We came into this week kind of relaxed, knowing we had a challenge in front of us,” CM head coach Tim McGraw said. “We came out here and just played.”
With the win in the opening round of the Division II sectional tournament, Alter improves to 21-2. Clinton-Massie ends its season at 6-17.
Clinton-Massie’s half-court defense kept the Knights in check in the first half. Alter shot just 35.5 percent in the first half. However, the Falcons made just 3 of 18 (16.7 percent) and trailed 23-7 at the half.
When Johanna Theetge scored with 3:41 left in the first half, the Falcons had pulled within 12. However, Clinton-Massie wouldn’t score again until 3:29 remained in the game.
During that 16:12 of game time, Alter went on a 33-0 run. In the third quarter, Alter outscored Clinton-Massie 20-0, making 9 of 15 from the floor. Clinton-Massie missed all 13 second-half shots and had 20 turnovers, 17 of which came on Alter steals.
Olivia Gillis led a balanced Alter attack with 15 points. Libby Bazelak had 12 points, 7 assists and 6 steals.
Thursday’s game marked the final contest for Clinton-Massie seniors Brooke Rose, Piper Hurlburt, Sydney Leary, Madilyn Newton and Savannah Myers. Despite the tough season, McGraw said they set a good example for the rest of their teammates.
“They’ve given a lot to this program over the last four years,” McGraw said. “They came to work every day. They’ve worked hard, and that’s all you can ask of them. We were in a lot of ballgames because they came to practice and worked hard. I wish them the best of luck and I know they’ll be successful in whatever they do.”
February 15, 2017
At Lebanon High School
Alter 56, Clinton-Massie 11
(11) CLINTON-MASSIE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Johanna Theetge 1-0-1-3, Sydney Leary 0-0-2-2, Madilyn Newton 1-0-2-4, Savannah Myers 1-0-0-2. TOTALS 3-0-5-11.
(56) ALTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Lauren Lush 2-0-0-4, Riley Priest 0-0-1-1, Nicole Hoeflinger 3-0-0-6, Olivia Gillis 7-1-0-15, Emily Long 1-0-0-2, Libby Bazelak 6-0-0-12, Braxtin Miller 5-2-0-12, Gracie Eisenhauer 1-0-0-2, Abby Carruth 0-0-2-2. TOTALS 25-3-3-56.
FIELD GOALS: C 3/31; A 25/55 (Gillis 7/11, Bazelak 6/13, Miller 5/10)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: C 0/3; A 3/20
FREE THROWS: C 5/6; A 3/4
REBOUNDS: C 33 (Myers 12, Leary 6, Theetge 5); A 24 (Priest 3, Gillis 3, Bazelak 3)
ASSISTS: C 0; A 20 (Bazelak 7, Lush 3)
STEALS: C 5 (Newton 2, Ireland 2); A 27 (Bazelak 6, Gillis 4)
BLOCKED SHOTS: C 1; A 1
TURNOVERS: C 37; A 11
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton