Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Bristol downs Cardinal in non-conference showdown

MIDDLEFIELD—Bristol freshman Bella Zirzow scored nearly half of the Panthers’ points in a 50-38 non-conference win at Cardinal on Monday.

Zirzow scored 11 points in the second quarter to help Bristol build a 23-19 halftime lead then came out in the third quarter and scored10 more as the Panthers pulled away from the Huskies.

“She’s a great player,” Cardinal coach Luke Kruse said. “She had a great name. We tried different players on her. We tried zoning and pinching in the middle but she’s tough because she’s inside-outside. She’s got nice touch at the basket but if you give her any space on the perimeter, she’s a knockdown 3-point shooter too. We just didn’t have a great look for her.”

Zirzow’s 3-pointer just inside the second quarter buzzer was a bit of a turning point for the Panthers.

“That hurt,” Kruse said. “That kind of typified the game. We had a lot of mental mistakes tonight. We ran away from her on a last-second shot. I think the girls just threw the ball away a lot more tonight than they have in a long time. That’s the first team that pressed us all year. We’re going to see a lot more of it so we’ve got to do a better job of mixing up our press breakers and trying to get the ball to the middle of the court rather than dribbling through it. I think they just wore us out by pressing for 32 minutes and by the fourth quarter we were just throwing the ball away because we were worn out.”

Brittni Lawrence led Cardinal with 16 points and Camille Cummins added 12 and led the Huskies with 19 rebounds.

Lawrence scored 10 of Cardinal’s 14 third-quarter points to keep the Huskies in the game.

“It’s frustrating looking at that because we hardly got her the ball in the fourth,” Kruse said. ‘We have a tendency when the other team gets a bit of the lead and on offense, we try to make too much happen on our own and not getting the right spacing thinking we have to shoot it right away. Tonight, our strength was getting the ball to Brittni in the paint down low and she didn’t get many touches there in the fourth quarter.”

Annamarie Pollack added four points for the Huskies and Haley Domen and Adriana Naples each finished with two.

Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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