Bobcats stay on top of WMDL

Brethren’s Mariah Pringle (33) swats away a shot by Manistee Catholic Central’s Jenna Bialik (left) during the Bobcats’ 44-22 win over the Sabers Friday night. Pringle scored 19 points and had 17 rebounds in the game. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

Brethren’s Mariah Pringle (33) swats away a shot by Manistee Catholic Central’s Jenna Bialik (left) during the Bobcats’ 44-22 win over the Sabers Friday night. Pringle scored 19 points and had 17 rebounds in the game. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

BRETHREN — Brethren girls basketball controlled the action from the opening tip against Manistee Catholic Central to stay on top of the West Michigan D League.

The Bobcats, led by Mariah Pringle’s 19 points, 17 rebounds and 7 blocks, won 44-22 after busting out a big run to start the game. On Friday it wasn’t just Pringle though, with Brethren’s supporting cast having one of its better shooting nights to pull ahead early.

“We worked on practicing our shooting yesterday because I said that we’re going to have teams that triple-team her and our outside shooters have to be ready,” Brethren coach Julie Riggs said. “I told them yesterday that Todd Erickson has coached too many years not to know. Mariah is going to be covered.”

The Sabers came out with a double-team each time Pringle touched the ball, but other Bobcats players were able to knock down open shots. In the opening minutes Megan Cordes drained an elbow three and Brianna Pettinato made a mid-range jumper to go up 5-0. Brethren never trailed in the game.

On the other end of the court the MCC offense never was able to get into sync with the shot blocking presence in the middle. The Sabers were stuck shooting a lot of deep shots, and that didn’t bode well for them.

Brethren (7-1 overall, 5-0 West Michigan D League) led 16-4 after one.

Pettinato made a three to start the second and put the Bobcats up 15 just nine minutes into the game. Pringle was able to get more involved in the offense in the second quarter. She scored nine points in the first half as her team went into the break up 27-8.

“Everybody has been out for two days, so we were out of our normal routine. They were out of their normal routine too and I think it showed in the first half. Both teams struggled in the first half,” Riggs said.

MCC came out with a little bit of life in the third quarter with an 8-2 run out of the locker room, highlighted by a couple of baskets by Nicole Kaminski. The team pulled back within 13 at 29-16, but the Bobcats settled down and played through some of the early mistakes.

“I thought in the second half we played much better. The play and the talking on defense was probably the best that we’ve seen this year. They came around on that part of it,” MCC coach Todd Erickson said.

In the final 20 seconds of the third quarter Pettinato made a deep two and Cordes drained another three to put the team up 38-19, and put any hopes of a Saber comeback to rest.

To go along with Pringle’s big night, Pettinato had 9 points and 3 rebounds, Cordes had 6 points and 9 assists, and Whitney Danks had 4 assists and 12 rebounds.

Sarah Bialik led the Sabers with 10 points, and Kaminski finished with 8 points.

“We did put up more shots than the other night. I was happy about that,” Erickson said. “Our turnovers were cut in half. We had 17 instead of the 31 or 32 that we’re averaging. That’s a good point to start.”

MCC (0-6, 0-4) will be back in action on Tuesday, Jan. 16 at home against the Traverse City Bulldogs (0-3), part of a girls/boys varsity doubleheader.

Brethren will also be back on Tuesday at home against Mason County Central (5-3).

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Posted by Brian Fogg

Brian is the sports writer for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3110 or bfogg@pioneergroup.com.

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