by Tim Miller
The Cedarville Lady Jackets opened their season with a 90-78 win over the Wisconsin-Parkside Rangers in the second game of the 2017 Midwest Region Crossover.
Junior guard Regina Hochstetler picked up where she left off from last season, leading the team in scoring with 27 points and six rebounds. Senior forward Breanne Watterworth recorded a double-double, chalking up 12 points and 11 boards. Junior guard Baylee Bennett led the Lady Jacket aerial attack, knocking down five of her nine triples with 17 points.
Cedarville broke the game open to start the second half after a poor second quarter performance. Head coach Kari Hoffman said the team played unlike itself in the second.
“I thought tonight we kind of played a tale of two halves,” Hoffman said. “In the second half, we came out with a lot more fire.”
The Lady Jackets came out firing from behind the arc, as their first two made shots were 3-pointers. The fast pace play continued for most of the first quarter, and the Lady Jackets led 16-10 with 4:16 left.
With 1:08 left in the quarter, Cedarville switched to a 1-3-1 zone for a possession. The change allowed the Lady Jackets to force a turnover, which in turn caused Wisconsin-Parkside to call a timeout. Even with momentum, the Lady Jackets only led 16-13.
Cedarville took an 18-13 lead into the end of the quarter. Hochstetler led all scorers with six points and Watterworth had four rebounds, all of which came on the offensive glass.
With 6:49 left in the second, Wisconsin-Parkside used a three-point play to tie the game at 18. Cedarville had yet to score in the quarter.
Two offensive rebounds by the Rangers allowed a triple to be rained in on Wisconsin-Parkside’s third shot, which gave them their first lead of the game. With 6:02 left, Wisconsin-Parkside led 21-20.
Six more points gave the Rangers a 29-22 lead with 4:19 left. Wisconsin-Parkside continued to pace the Lady Jackets to close the half and took a 35-30 lead into the intermission. Hochstetler continued to lead the offensive attack for the Lady Jackets, adding seven points to her first quarter total on 3-4 shooting from the field.
Hoffman said the second quarter was a low point in the game and that the team needed to improve in multiple aspects out of the break.
“That was a bad quarter for us,” Hoffman said. “I challenged them at halftime to be better in a lot of areas, one of them was getting better inside.”
Just like to start the game, Bennett and Kaitlyn Holm started the second half with consecutive triples. Hochstetler joined in on the fun, adding a 3-pointer of her own which gave the Lady Jackets a 41-37 lead with 7:49 left in the third. Wisconsin-Parkside called a timeout after Hochstetler’s trifecta.
The Lady Jackets connected on their first seven shots of the half, including all four 3-point attempts. With 5:09 left, Cedarville led 50-41.
A small run by the Rangers brought the game within four points to 52-48 with 1:43 left, but the Lady Jackets still owned the lead.
At the end of the third, Cedarville led 58-50 and Hochstetler pushed her point total to 23. The Lady Jackets shot 67 percent from the field during the quarter, and were 80 percent from behind the 3-point line.
Cedarville remained in charge in the final quarter, as the Lady Jackets continued their hot shooting. A lay in by Watterworth gave Cedarville a 72-57 lead with 5:03 left, its largest lead of the game.
The Lady Jackets will play their second and final game of the 2017 Midwest Region Crossover tomorrow at 3:15 p.m. against No. 1 ranked Ashland University. Ashland toppled Ohio Dominican to open the tournament, defeating the Panthers 115-60.
“We need to recover fast,” Hoffman said. “Their pace of play is really impressive so we’re gonna have to bring it at 3:15.”
Tim Miller is a sophomore marketing major and sports editor for Cedars. He enjoys having a baby face, sipping Dunkin Donuts coffee and striving to be the optimal combination of Dwight Schrute and Ron Swanson.