TMP girls pick up win against Plainville at home
By KLINT SPILLER
With the Cardinals' starting point guard out, Plainville girls' basketball coach Ron Wolf said he hoped his entire squad would try and make up for it.
That didn't happen in Friday's 54-27 loss on the road against Thomas More Prep-Marian at Al Billinger Fieldhouse, Wolf said.
Plainville's best ball handler, senior Hannah Friend, tore some ligaments in her foot early in its 70-21 loss to Hoxie on Feb. 5. Friday was the first time Plainville (9-9) has been without her for a full game.
Against TMP (6-12), the Cardinals struggled with turnovers and had a difficult time executing their offense in the first half.
"One person does not make this team," Wolf said. "Of course, if you lose your point guard, I don't think any coach in the state wants to say, 'Yeah, that's the person I want to lose.' It did change some things, but we've got to all step up and do our part.'"
TMP took advantage and had its best first half of the season, outscoring Plainville 34-7.
"We played with a lot of energy tonight," said TMP head coach Rose McFarland. "Defensively, we really got after it. We were looking for everybody running down the floor. The girls were just having fun out there tonight."
Plainville finished with 26 turnovers -- 20 of which came in the first half.
The Cardinals had a disastrous stretch where they went 16 minutes, 44 seconds without making a basket, lasting from midway through the first quarter until midway through the third quarter.
"There wasn't anything going in at the time," Wolf said. "That changes everything. It really snowballed on us tonight."
TMP Senior point guard Heather Ruder played a pivotal role in Plainville's struggles, compiling eight steals in three quarters of action to go along with her 24 points.
"She does a good job on defense from night to night," McFarland said. "I don't know how many points she had, but she was playing within herself and not trying to do too much. It just came natural for her tonight."
Ruder handled the scoring, and TMP junior Samantha Younie took care of the rebounding, grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds as TMP out rebounded Plainville 33 to 24.
"I was just hustling and trying to get every ball," Younie said.
Ruder was the only Monarch to reach double figures, but senior forward Jenna Schuckman added eight points and senior guard Allison Pfeifer had six.
Plainville sophomore forward Kim Junkermeier, who rolled her ankle in practice earlier in the week, led her squad with eight points and eight rebounds.
The Cardinals played much better in the second half, tying TMP's second-half scoring, but the hole they dug in the first half was too much to overcome.
"We've just got to step up and try to get something positive out of this tonight," Wolf said.
After falling 57-36 Tuesday at Hoisington, Younie said they wanted to come out and play with energy.
"We just kept pushing. We wanted to play a full four quarters and finish strong," she said.
TMP now has won five of its past seven games after starting the year 1-10.
"This team is really coming together," McFarland said. "We are looking forward to the postseason."