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The Fieldcrest girls basketball team stormed out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter and never looked back as it beat Hall 56-38 Tuesday night in non-conference action in Spring Valley.
Fieldcrest junior guard Haley Ruestman, who finished with a game-high 21 points, knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and a free-throw in the opening eight minutes, and the Fieldcrest full-court pressure helped force six Lady Red Devil turnovers as the Lady Knights jumped out to a 19-9 lead.
Fieldcrest kept up the pressure early in the second quarter, using a 9-0 run consisting of a 3-pointer from Julia Jochums, a layup from Tessa Holland off the press, another layup in transition from Ruestman and a steal and bucket from Holland to up the advantage to 28-10 with 5:21 left until half.
“We don’t have a lot of bigs and so we have to start out strong with our speed,” Ruestman said. “It was good coming out really strong. … I’m pretty proud of the way we played tonight.”
Fieldcrest coach Ron Kreiser also was happy with his squad’s fast start.
“It was a real good start. We really need to get that kind of pace going. We’ve got to slow down on the fouls a little bit, but that’s the pace we need — a little helter skelter,” Kreiser said. “We don’t have the size, but I really think we’ve got the quickness. I know we’ll shoot the ball better (21-of-54 for the game) as the season goes, so I’m hoping we can keep that kind of pace.”
Holland had a big night for the Lady Knights with 19 points and a game-high 17 rebounds, and the sophomore standout also made her presence felt on defense up front in the FHS press.
Offensively, Kreiser said the combo of Ruestman and Holland presents match-up problems for opponents.
“It’s just a great 1-2 combination. You take one away and the other one (steps up). As you saw down the stretch, if you play us man it’s pretty rough because they can give-and-go, they can post up — it’s just a nice 1-2 combination. When the others get a little more confidence shooting, it’s pick your poison because they’re both quick.”
Fieldcrest never let the lead slip into single digits after its second quarter surge as the Lady Knights (2-3) led 31-19 at half and 43-26 after three quarters.
Junior center Becca Herrmann led the Lady Red Devils with a 16-point, 16-rebound effort. Brenna Faletti added six points and Elle Herrmann snagged six boards for Hall (1-4).
“They pressed well. We knew they were going to press. I thought we’d handle it a little better, but they have a lot of quickness across all five starters,” said Hall coach Mike Struna, who saw some positive signs from his offense in the second half.
“We switched from the 1-2-2 offense to the pick-and-roll and we found some backdoor passes and got the ball inside,” Struna added. “I think we ran that well. I thought we played better offensively the second half and broke the press better. … We’ve got a lot of work to do. We haven’t found ourselves yet on what defense we’re going to play. We’re trying to press and we may have to start playing more man-to-man.”
Chris Yucus can be reached at 220-6995 or at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsChris.
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