Central rolls past Warren
WOODSTOCK – Central girls basketball coach Mallory Skarupa wanted to see an improved defensive effort from the Falcons on Friday night against visiting Warren County. She got her wish.
The Falcons held Warren County scoreless for the first 7½ minutes the game, scoring 17 unanswered points in the process before rolling to a 50-25 Bull Run District win.
“We just took some pride in our defense. We’ve been really harping on them, telling them how bad their defense is and they took some pride and sat down and did the little things,” Skarupa said. “We told them our offensive end was going to get started with our defense and we sat down and got our hands up, got some good steals, got some deflections and just played smarter.”
Central (12-3, 9-2 Bull Run) held the Wildcats (6-8, 5-5) to a 19.6-percent (9 for 46) mark from the field in the game and forced 22 turnovers. Half of those turnovers were Falcon steals.
The Falcons demonstrated balance on the offensive end immediately, as four different players combined to score seven points and force Warren County head coach John Kelly to call a timeout 2½ minutes into the game.
Back-to-back buckets by Falcons sophomore Tamra Scott over the next two minutes expanded Central’s lead to 11-0 and prompted Kelly to use another timeout.
“We didn’t get off the bus,” Kelly said. “I don’t know if it’s a mental thing with Central. They seem to have our number. They seem to out-hustle us. And we knew that going in. We knew what they were going to do. We talked about boxing out, about playing a physical style of game and we just did not have it.”
A mid-range jumper by Erika Thorpe pushed the Falcons’ lead to 14 points a few minutes later, and Brooklyn Pumphrey capped the game-opening surge with a 3-pointer from the wing with 52 seconds left in the first period.
Warren County finally got on the board when Autumn Troxell made a free throw with 23 seconds left in the quarter, and Arianna Smoot’s basket following Troxell’s miss on her second free-throw attempt sent the Wildcats into the second period trailing 17-3.
Central extended its lead to 20 points following a trio of buckets by Autumn Shelton, Ayanna Strother and Scott with two minutes left in the first half. The Falcons led 28-10 at halftime.
The Falcons outscored Warren County 14-4 in the third period to take a 42-14 lead into the fourth quarter. The Wildcats scored nearly half of their points (11) in the fourth.
Scott led the Falcons with 14 points, while Strother had nine points, four steals and three assists. Brooke Sager added eight points for Central, Cianne Fields had six points and Thorpe (team-high nine rebounds), Pumphrey (eight rebounds) and Shelton had four points apiece.
Central as a team shot 37.9 percent (22 for 58) and turned the ball over 16 times.
“We finally, I think, played a full 32 minutes, which is what we’ve been wanting for a while now,” Skarupa said.
Central’s defense held Troxell — Warren County’s leading scorer — to only six points and one field goal. Four of Troxell’s points came in the fourth period.
Samantha Schroyer led the Wildcats with eight points, while Smoot chipped in four for Warren County.
Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or firstname.lastname@example.org