FORT BRANCH-- Following a Toyota Classic Championship, Gibson Southern girls basketball got the ball rolling again with a victory over Boonville Thursday. They had previously had a two week break for the holidays, and the win moves them to 12-3 on the season.
The Lady Titans showed very little rust offensively, shooting 63 percent from the field to down the Lady Pioneers, 84-61.
"Anytime you take almost a two week break off, the one thing that usually is lacking is offense, which we didn't. We shot the ball pretty well tonight. Defensively is where we left a lot to be desired on that end, that's something we'll have to clean up before Tell City Saturday," Gibson Southern coach Kyle Brasher said.
The Lady Titans are typically one of the better defensive teams in the area, and that starts with Maci Foster usually drawing the assignment of the top backcourt player from the opponent. Tonight that meant the luxury of guarding Boonville's Alaysha Brandenberger, who as just a freshman is averaging almost 23 points per game.
"You look at, I don't know the exact averages in the area, but she's averaging about 23 per game. We knew if we could limit her and limit number 10, Wilder, they'd have a tough time. Wilder, she did a great job tonight, she was tough," Brasher said.
It was Ramey Wilder that accounted for the majority of the Boonville offense, scoring 16 of the Lady Pioneers' 24 first half points. Brandenberger was held to just two points in the half, while Gibson Southern's attack was balanced. Tabby Klem's 13 led the Lady Titans at the break, while Meredith Raley and Brooke Goedde each had eight as Gibson Southern opened up a 46-24 lead in the first 16 minutes.
"We've talked all season about the importance of having a balanced scoring attack. Obviously anytime you have a Meredith Raley and Tabby Klem, they're going to get their points, get their shots. But if we can have three, four, five, six, seven girls step up and score, it's that much harder to guard us," Brasher said.
The second half was more of the same for Gibson Southern as Raley got going in the third quarter, scoring six points in the frame. Kami Miller and Shay Whitten each knocked down a 3-pointer as the Lady Titans were able to expand their lead a little by the end of the quarter, 66-41.
Brasher was able to empty his bench halfway through the fourth quarter, and it allowed Brandenberger to score 14 points in the final eight minutes, to reach 18 total for the game. She was held to just four through three quarters. Wilder ended with 22 for Boonville, which led all scorers.
Raley's 19 points led Gibson Southern, while Klem poured in 15. Miller, the third leading scorer for the Lady Titans, ended with 11 while Jordyn Graham had 10 off the bench for Brasher's squad. After gaining their 12th victory of the season, Gibson Southern will head into a tougher stretch that features games against PAC opponents Tell City, Tecumseh and Heritage Hills, as well as current Big Eight leader Jasper. If Gibson Southern can get through those three PAC games, they'll be sitting pretty in terms of their chances to capture a PAC title.
"You could definitely tell we're really starting to gel together. Hopefully we haven't reached our peak yet, and getting a little better every game we play," Brasher said.
The Tell City game will be on the road, at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, before next week's Tuesday game at 7 p.m. against Jasper and Thursday contest at 7 p.m. against Tecumseh. Both those games will be in Fort Branch at Titan Fieldhouse.