By RICH KELLY
For the Star Beacon
A new era had dawned for the Grand Valley Mustangs girls basketball team, and Tuesday night saw the Cardinal Huskies open their season by being trampled completely by this rejuvenated squad of Mustangs, 69-14.
“We’ve switched to a different offense this year that lends itself to sharing and distributing the ball evenly,” Grand Valley coach Kim Triskett said. “Tonight, we were sharing the ball extremely well. The passing was crisp, and the girls were looking for opportunities to score and to get the ball to teammates to score.”
That will usually lead to balance in the offense, and that is exactly what the Mustangs (2-0, 0-0 in Northeastern Athletic Conference) got.
Jess Vormelker scored six points and Chris Futty added five in leading the Mustangs to a quick 11-0 lead in the first 3:19 of the game, and with at trio of players in double digits and 10 of the 12 who played hitting the scoring column as GV made 45.5 percent of its shots, the Huskies, try as they might to get back into the game, never had a chance.
Kelly Preske led the Mustang scoring with 13 points, Vormelker added 12, and Futty netted 11. Toss in nine each from Holly Nye and Brady Nye, mix in a 49-22 domination of the backboards for the Mustangs, a defense that forced 31 turnovers overall with 15 steals, and it isn’t too hard to see how Cardinal coach Darrell Haskins was left speechless.
“I’m sorry, I just really don’t have any comment tonight,” he said as he helped pack the team equipment for the long ride back to Middlefield.
With Jess Koches and Brooke House leading their scoring with four points each, Haskins pretty much had everything laid out right in front of him, and the wreckage was complete and total.
So total, in fact, that the Huskies could not overcome or improve on a three-of-42 shooting effort on the night.
“We looked at films of our first game from Saturday,” Triskett said. “And wanted to create a different type of focus to work on. The things that really worked well for us in this game was the stuff we worked on from those films, and that shows how focused we are as a team. When you can get the kids to do what you want them to do and they pick it up so quickly, you know the extra work they have put in is paying off.”
Kelly is a freelance writer from Jefferson.