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Mendota’s Abby Bromenschenkel (purple) grabs a loose ball while Princeton’s Makenzey Wilson (left) and McCaela May (No. 11) try to gain possession in Thursday’s non-conference game in Princeton. NewsTribune photo/Anthony Soufflé
PRINCETON — Mendota girls basketball coach Kevin Geldon has been waiting for his young team to put together a complete game.
On Thursday at Princeton, it did.
The MHS coach got exactly what he was looking for as the Lady Trojans scored the game’s first 30 points and held the Tigresses scoreless in the first half as they routed PHS 49-6.
“We really challenged the girls this week to put four quarters together, and I really think we finally got that tonight,” Geldon said. “We defended really well, denied passing lanes and pressured the basketball, and our press break looked better, as well. The girls just really responded well to the challenge.”
Mendota’s pressure defense was superb in helping to cause seven Tigresses turnovers in the first 2 ½ minutes of the game. The miscues helped MHS take a 6-0 lead.
The defense continued to wreak havoc on Princeton throughout the game, while sophomores Amy Devitt and Ally Bromenschenkel each picked up eight points apiece as MHS took an 18-0 lead after the first quarter.
“They are very athletic,” Princeton coach Kevin Hieronymus said. “They all can move well and have long arms to deflect passes. I told our girls it’s like they have five Zoe Meads out there. That sophomore group for Mendota came to our shootout in sixth and seventh grade and you could see then that they were going to be pretty good.”
Abby Bromenschenkel hit a long jumper to start the second quarter, and then her steal and layup increased the lead.
Princeton’s best chance to score in the first half came on a strong move to the basket by senior Lexi Marselle, but the ball went halfway down and spun back out to keep the Tigresses scoreless.
MHS senior Tori Schimmer added some buckets in the post to give Mendota a 30-0 lead at half.
When the Lady Trojans weren’t helping cause 23 first-half turnovers by Princeton, they were getting good second-chance looks, especially from Devitt, who had a game-high 12 rebounds.
“When you’re creating that many turnovers, you’re doing something right,” Geldon said. “We were moving our feet and hitting the passing lanes and not reaching. We did all those things the right way tonight. Shots are not always going to fall so we challenged them on defense and rebounds — which we can control — and the rebounding advantage was certainly there, as well. Hopefully, putting together a complete game is a stepping stone for us for the rest of the season.”
With just under five minutes left in the third quarter, Mead hit a runner in the lane for the Tigresses’ first two points of the contest.
Mendota responded with a 13-0 run to end the quarter.
During the run, Lady Trojan senior Ashlyn Kennedy drained a 3-pointer as did Abby Bromenschenkel to give Mendota a 43-2 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Princeton’s McCaela May hit a jumper in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Trojans responded with a 3-pointer from Ally Bromenschenkel and a layup from Devitt for a 48-4 lead.
Mead added a pair of free throws for Princeton to complete its scoring.
Abby Bromenschenkel scored a game-high 12 points for MHS, while her twin Ally Bromenschenkel added 11 points. Devitt had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the double-double.