The Cedarville women’s basketball team earned the 800th win in team history Thursday night, defeating Salem International by a score of 78-49.
“It’s a compliment to coach June Kearney and Maryalyce Jeremiah and all the way down through it,” said Cedarville head coach Kirk Martin. “800’s a lot, and everybody’s who’s been a part of it has contributed to it and it’s a great program.”
The Jackets got off to a sluggish start, leading only 6-5 halfway through the first quarter.
“I thought our focus initially was a little bit of a struggle with the basketball, but after that I think things settled down,” Martin said.
Cedarville then went on a tear, going on a 38-13 run to close out the half. The Jackets outscored the visitors in the second quarter, 24-5, thanks to strong post play and frequent trips to the free throw line. The Jackets would take it inside and either make the shot or get fouled.
At halftime, the Lady Jackets led, 44-18. Scoring was pretty even in the second half, and the home team never let Salem creep back into the game, which allowed the Lady Jackets to win by 29 points.
Senior guard Taylor Vander Plas was out of the starting lineup, and sophomore guard Kaitlyn Holm started in her place. She did not fill up the stat sheet, but Holm’s teammates said she did well.
“Kaitlyn stepped up and she played really well,” said fellow sophomore Abby Wolford. “The thing I love most about our team is if someone’s not having a great game, there’s always a different player stepping up in different games, and that’s really encouraging to see that it’s not just one player.”
One point of concern for the team was turnovers. The Jackets finished the game with 26 of them. Martin pointed out that this was an improvement over the 36 giveaways the team had when it visited Salem International earlier in the season.
Wolford credited the visiting Tigers’ defense, saying they came to play a serious game.
“Salem, they’re just really fast and really scrappy, so taking care of the ball’s a little stressful,” she said. “It was definitely a game where you have to take care of the basketball, and we struggled with that at times.”
Wolford led all scorers with 18 points. Senior forward Kayla Linkous added 16 points and six rebounds. Senior guard Kaysie Brittenham led the team with four steals and three blocks.
The Lady Jackets shots 48 percent from the field, compared to the Tigers’ 31 percent. Cedarville also won the battle of the boards, out-rebounding the Tigers, 46-32. This game is the 12th straight where Cedarville has out-rebounded its opponent.
Cedarville (18-6) plays its next home game Saturday, February 13, against Ohio Valley.
Jonathan Gallardo is a senior journalism major and sports editor for Cedars. He enjoys writing fiction and playing basketball. He is currently reading Twilight.
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