The Miller Lady Cardinals do not relax on the court. They push both on offense and defense and more often than not they end up on the positive end of things.
“I think when we play fast and are aggressive on offense and defense we’re pretty good,” said Miller head coach Justin Gerald.
The Lady Cardinals played as advertised doubling up the visiting Lady Comets from Marionville 54-27 in non-conference action.
Miller (13-8) fed post player Jessica Estes right from the start. The Lady Cardinals ended up leading by six points at the end of the quarter as Estes hit two free throws to make the score 14-8 Estes scored eight points in the frame and had 13 for the game; she also nabbed nine rebounds.
“Jessica is a focal point for our offense,” said Coach Gerald. “We like to play inside out. Anytime we can get it in to her and they start caving down on her then we can kick it out because we have four good shooters around her. Pick your poison.
The Lady Comets had trouble hitting their shots, even the open ones, going 0-for-8 from long range in the second period. Coach Jamie LaSalle recognized that his team had didn’t really help themselves much at all in the quarter.
“Normally we’re a pretty good shooting team,” he said. “But tonight, boy, we dug ourselves a big hole that second quarter.”
Marionville (12-11) hit the first field goal in the second period but it was the only points for them the rest of the half. The Lady Cardinals rolled off 13 straight points and took a 27-10 lead into halftime.
Even with the 17 point lead the Lady Cardinals kept up the intensity. Coach Gerald spoke of the new “norm” for the Lady Cardinals. “When you step on the court, you’re going to play hard the whole time. We weren’t comfortable even with a 17-point lead. We wanted to extend it.”
The Cady comets were still committed to shooting from behind the arc and did find some limited success in the third period. Bayleigh Finn hit a three pointer with 2:30 left to make the score 38-22, but Miller answered in the closing minutes with two of their own and did end up extending their lead to 19 points, 41-22.
Finn led the Lady Comets with 11 points and teammate Kymbra Kirby gathered 10 rebounds.
A little more than a minute into the fourth period, Miller got a huge boost from a 4-point play from Abby Gann that stretched the Lady Cardinals lead to 25 points. Gann also scored 13 points and had seven rebounds.
Marionville kept trying to shoot themselves back into the ball game but to no avail. They ended up 3-for-27 from long range.
Miller plays Lockwood tomorrow night and Marionville will try to right the ship on Thursday at Fair Grove.
Miller: 14, 13, 14, 13—54
Marionville: 8, 2, 12, 5—27
Miller: Estes, 13; Gann, 13; D. Hadlock, 10; L. Hadlock, 9; Mallory, 7; Pennington, 2
Marionville: Finn, 11; Floyd, 2; Hopkins, 7; Kirby, 3; Neveln, 4