Eagles girls breeze through tourney
MAXWELL—With a pair of 40-point wins, the Maxwell Booster Tournament didn’t seem like much of a challenge for the Brady girls basketball team.
The Eagles made beating Stapleton-McPherson County and Maxwell look like a cake walk last week.
“I thought the girls played very well in both games,” said coach Lance Arterburn.
Senior Courtney Widick shot the ball well from the outside and in transition, the coach said, to lead the Eagles with 24 points against the Cyclones.
Brady pounded SMC 68-26 in the first round on Wednesday to earn a spot in the championship against Maxwell Thursday night.
“You always expect a tough game from Maxwell,” Arterburn said. “It just usually happens that way.”
But Maxwell couldn’t put up much of a fight against Brady’s relentless in-your-face style of man-to-man defense as the Eagles prevailed 66-22.
“We disrupted pretty much everything they tried to do,” Arterburn said. “We emphasize defense as strongly if not more than everything we do. If you hold a team under 30 points, you give yourself a pretty good chance of winning, even on a poor shooting night.”
The Eagles limited Maxwell to four points in the first period leading 13-4 at the end of one quarter and the defense never let up.
“I was a little nervous before the Maxwell game,” Arterburn admitted. “With Maggie (Burke) out sick, I wasn’t sure how things might go but I think the depth of our bench really came through.”
Widick again led the Eagles with 22 points, followed by junior Brittney Christophersen with 11 points.
Arterburn said it’s always going to be a good night when everyone, or nearly everyone, on the roster puts points on the board.
But he is quick to note that the top scorers aren’t the only ones to lead the team.
“Megan Polt is huge defensively,” Arterburn said. “She always gets to defend the opponent’s best player and that can be a thankless job but her defense is a key to what we accomplish.”
Maxwell’s Brooke Boucher scored 18 points against South Loup the night before and Arterburn asked Polt to shut her down.
The junior guard had three points against the Eagles.
“To me, that’s like Polt scored 15 points without shooting the ball,” Arterburn said.
The Eagles improve to 6-1 on the season and will host Crawford (3-5) in the first round of the Brady Holiday Tournament at home at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Wauneta-Palisade (3-2) and Anselmo-Merna (0-6) open the tourney at 1 p.m. with winners to face off at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
The consolation game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday.
Arterburn expects to meet Wauneta-Palisade in the finals.
“I think they’ll play better than they did the first time around,” the coach said.
Brady defeated the Broncos 70-35 in the first game of the year.
“We hope to be back to full strength,” Arterburn said. “We’re going to need to be playing good ball in January. The schedule will get a little tougher then.”