NEW BREMEN — Anything Jackson Center senior Brooke Richard wanted to do she was able to do.
Led by Richard’s 31 points the Tigers defeated the Cardinals 53-43 in a non-league contest at New Bremen. on Tuesday.
“She is quicker than most players,” Tigers head coach Makaine Huffer said. “She just does a great job of getting to the basket.”
“She did what she wanted to,” Cardinals head coach Randy Eckert said. “We just didn’t have very good defense on her tonight. As a team we should have had help side defense. It is something we work on in practice but we can’t seem to bring in into a game.”
The Cardinals had a sluggish first half but was able to get back into the game in the second half. Trailing 25-16 at halftime Richard got a three-point play to start the second half, but New Bremen answered with a layup from Julie Brown and a basket from Kyla Otting to close the gap to 28-18. The scoring went back and forth for most of the rest of the third quarter, but the Cardinals got two free throws from Otting and a layup from Amber Paul to make the score 40-27 at the end of the third quarter.
“We came out slow,” Eckert said. “That seems to be our trait for some reason and it puts us in a hole and we have to fight back.”
“We have had trouble in the past of letting up on defense,” Huffer said. “The girls have to realize that we can’t do that and at the end of the game you have to keep playing hard no matter what the score is.”
In the final eight minutes New Bremen closed the deficit to 10 points at 44-34, but just couldn’t stop the offensive putbacks by Jackson Center as the Tigers kept the deficit at 10 at 53-43.
The Tigers (4-8) travel to Fairlawn on Saturday, while the Cardinals (4-7) entertain New Knoxville on Thursday.