Bobcats down Buckley 41-26, hope for revenge in district final

Brethren’s Mariah Pringle (33) looks to pass during the Bobcats’ 41-26 win over Buckley in their Class D district semifinal game on Wednesday. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

Brethren’s Mariah Pringle (33) looks to pass during the Bobcats’ 41-26 win over Buckley in their Class D district semifinal game on Wednesday. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

BRETHREN — Brethren girls basketball will get a chance to avenge two close losses on Friday against Bear Lake.

The Bobcats held off a comeback attempt by Buckley in the fourth quarter to win 41-26 and set up the third meeting with the Lakers.

Bear Lake won the first two meetings by a combined three points.

On Wednesday the 15-point win was probably a bit closer than the final score would suggest, but clutch play from Mariah Pringle and Megan Cordes helped the team pull away in a game that was only 27-21 with 4:35 left.  

Pringle finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Cordes had 11 points and 3 rebounds.

“Mariah Pringle stayed cool in the middle. She had to lead her troops the way she does every time,” Brethren coach Julie Riggs said.

The Bobcats led 17-8 at the break and 13 of the 17 points came from one of those two. 

Brethren (15-6) appeared to be on the verge of blowing the game open early in the fourth quarter, but Buckley went to a little pressure and that sent that game into a run-and-gun finish. The Bears scored more in the fourth quarter (14) than it did in the first three (12). Most of that came off of the press and they were playing their best basketball of the game while only down six at 27-21.

“For as young as they are they have a very good team. They are going to be a threat from here on out,” Riggs said.

Cordes missed time while she was a bit banged up, but managed to find a way to play through it and hold off the Bears’ (5-17) late run. Once she came back into the game the team settled down and she was able to handle the pressure of the Buckley guards a bit better. 

“She has to handle the ball for us. Little girls watching basketball should be doing ball-handling drills. Anybody can shoot, anybody can rebound. Not everybody can dribble the ball,” Riggs said.

Riggs also used junior varsity call-ups Eleni Guenther and Kaia Richardson quite a bit. Guenther gathered a couple of loose-ball rebounds down the stretch.

The Bobcats went on a 10-2 run in the final 3:20 to survive another two days.

“I give credit to Eleni Guenther coming up from JV. She had one practice with us and she had some crucial rebounds that gave us the ball back,” Riggs said.

To go along with Pringle and Cordes’ performances, Whitney Danks had 4 points, 4 assists and 8 rebounds, and Brianna Pettinato had 5 points. 

Brethren will be back on Friday at home against Bear Lake. The game will begin at 7 p.m.

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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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