Power of 5: Blossoms starters are key in upset of SouthlandPublished 10:56pm Thursday, January 31, 2013
ADAMS — The Awesome Blossoms rode their starting five to the finish line and it paid off as they upset a shorthanded Southland team, which is ranked No. 10 in Class ‘AA,’ 77-68 in Adams Thursday.
Southland played the game without its all-time leading scorer in Jana Schammel.
“We came prepared whether they had her or not. It was news to us that she wasn’t playing, but we still went in there strong,” said BP sophomore guard Madison Worke, who had 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists. “Adrenaline kept me going.”
The Rebels pulled to within 68-65 with 2:09 left in the game on a drive by Haley Kirkpatrick, but BP went back up 74-65 when Jenna Krell got free for two lay-ups in a 21-second span.
Krell was one of BP’s five starters who played the entire second half and most of the first half in a game that was up-tempo the entire night.
“I really felt with two of our kids having three fouls early that they might get their fourth and we’d have to sub anyway,” BP head coach John Worke said. “Our kids didn’t get that fourth foul early. We know our depth isn’t the greatest, certainly at the guard position and that’s what you need against these guys. Our girls are tired, no doubt about it.”
Southland (17-3 overall), which had a 12-game winning streak snapped in the loss, trailed 58-37 with 12 minutes left in the game before they stormed back. They pulled as close as 62-57 when Elizabeth May hit a jump shot with six minutes left, but they couldn’t score on their next two possessions and Sara Noble, who had 17 points, three assists and three rebounds gave BP momentum back with a three pointer from the baseline.
“It was different (without Schammel). Normally she’s there to open the middle up and her and I work together really well,” said Kirkpatrick, who had 23 points and seven rebounds. “I always hate losing so I don’t really like it all. I’m glad it happened in this game to get it out of our system, so hopefully we can win the rest of them.”
BP senior Janelle Morem scored 15 of her 17 points in the first 10 minutes of the game as BP (14-5 overall) took a 44-27 lead into the break.
“This was the most fun game we’ve played by far and it’s nice to beat a team like this,” said Morem, who added seven assists, three rebounds and seven steals. “They’re good and it’s not easy. If we played them again, I don’t know how we’d do, but it would be a good game either way.”
BP sophomore center Taylor Hagen was able to get back and forth from end line to end line in a frantic second half. She finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks and made life in the lane tough for the Rebels.
“I was a little tired, but they weren’t pressing too much and that helped a lot,” Hagen said.
John Worke was pleased with how his team reacted late in the game when the Southland crowd was getting into it and it looked like things might be slipping away.
“You schedule non-conference teams so you know what you have and this is tournament stuff here,” John Worke said. “You hope when we get into a big tournament game our kids can remember how we faltered a little bit but we kept working hard and good things will happen.”
Megan Mullenbach had 15 points and four steals and McKenzie Kirtz had 18 points for Southland.
Southland 27 41 — 68
BP 44 33 — 77
BP scoring: Madison Worke, 20; Sara Noble, 17; Janelle Morem, 17; Taylor Hagen, 15; Jenna Krell, 8; field goals: 54 percent (26-for-48); three-pointers: 50 percent (10-for-20); free throws: 57 percent (15-for-26); rebounds: 32 (Hagen, 12); turnovers: 27
Southland scoring: Haley Kirkpatrick, 23; McKenzie Kirtz, 18; Megan Mullenbach, 15; Elizabeth May, 6; Kaitlyn Kirtz, 2; Morgan Schmitz, 2; field goals: 37 percent (25-for-68); three-pointers: 41 percent (5-for-12); free throws: 72 percent (13-for-18); rebounds: 39 (May, 9); turnovers: 16