SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
Causing turnovers is A&M's specialty. They are like a school of piranhas, who turn turnovers into scores. There scoring all season had been led by their guards and senior small forward Sarah Bailey.
Even with all-state senior center Micah Jones still playing, CHBC had to replace players from their state runner-up team last year.
Senior guard Ava Paruleski had to take over the point guard position, shake off an early season illness, and still try to score in double figures, utilizing the arc.
Small forward Autumn Riley battled around the paint and also had to play a big part in the scoring. But other inexperienced players would have to step up.
Going into the game conventional wisdom would tell A&M to double team Paruleski and deny 3-pointers and triple team Jones inside.
"They did," said Coach Wendte. "Micah and Ava told the rest of the team, 'Be ready, we're going to get you the ball.' And they knocked down shots."
When Jones cramped up, Wendte looked to the bench and inserted Chandler Ward to shoot the free throws. She did what the rest of the crew needed to do to beat A&M, she took advantage of the opportunity and drained both free throws.
A&M, as well as other teams, have trouble stopping Jones, because of her height, strength and ball-handling ability for a center. Jones led the Hornets with a typical 27-point performance, scoring 13 times from the floor.
Paruleski had 10 points off two triples and 4-of-6 at the line. Riley had nine points with two buckets and 5-of-6 at the line.
The bonus was sophomore forward Jensyn Morrison scoring six points, more than her average, and guard Kacie Hilt scoring six points, more than her average.