Kapaun Mount Carmel didn’t really need senior guard Sam Bachrodt for most of Friday’s 39-25 win in the season-opener at Heights.
But when they did.…
“After awhile, you learn when your team needs you to speed things up and slow things down,” Bachrodt said. “You get a feel for it.”
Bachrodt showed she hasn’t lost her feel for winning games, scoring a game-high 14 points in the Crusaders’ 39-25 victory, including seven straight points to end the first half as Heights tried to get Kapaun’s lead back to single digits.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
“Sam is the ultimate competitor, a true gym rat,” said first-year Kapaun coach Billy Graf. “She might be one of the most competitive people I’ve ever known.”
A freshman – and defense – sparked Kapaun early. In her first varsity start, freshman Brenna Monty scored the Crusaders’ first three baskets for a 6-2 lead.
“I wasn’t surprised by that,” Graf said. “I just wanted everybody else to be.”
Monty finished with 12 points.
“I was nervous before the game, but once it started I put all that aside,” Monty said. “I just focused on the game, and what I needed to do.”
The Crusaders forced 12 first-half turnovers by Heights, and 23 total, as Heights struggled to control the ball.
“We looked like we haven’t been practicing for three weeks,” Heights coach Kip Pulliam said. “They came out, took it to us and we totally backed down. Didn’t want to compete. That’s embarrassing.
“I thought we played hard, but we need to be able to fight back when somebody comes at us like that.”
Kapaun went almost six minutes in the second quarter without a basket, letting Heights get to within 20-11 on a three-pointer by Analyss Bennally with 2:45 left, but that’s when Bachrodt took over.
First, a jumper for a 22-11 lead with 1:50 left, then a three-pointer followed by a steal and a layup with 23 seconds left for a 27-11 halftime lead.
“We want our defense to set the tone for us,” Bachrodt said. “We want to always be attacking, always be in somebody’s face on defense. That’s how we do it in practice, so that’s how it should be in games.”
Heights never threatened in the second half, with Kapaun pushing its lead to 34-18 after three quarters and running out the clock on possessions for much of the fourth quarter.
“That’s a good start to the season,” Graf said. “If we can consistently play defense like that, I think we can do some good things.”
Kapaun: Born 4 0-0 9, Monty 5 1-2 12, Hagan 2 0-1 4, Bachrodt 6 1-2 14, Roulston 0 0-1 0.
Heights: Benally 3 0-0 8, Alvarado 3 0-0 6, Allen 0 0-2 0, Watson 3 0-0 6, Lowe 0 1-2 1, Patrick 0 1-2 1.