By Rob Kiser
SIDNEY — The story of the game in the Russia-Botkins Sidney D-IV girls basketball sectional final Saturday was defense — and the play of Lady Raider junior Jenna Cordonnier at both ends of the floor.
Cordonnier scored 16 points on just nine shots — and held Botkins’ Sarah Bergman to no field goals and two points at the defensive end as Russia overcame a slow start to cruise to a 41-24 victory.
Russia will play the Tri-Village-Newton winner in the Troy D-IV district tournament Saturday. Those two teams play Tuesday night at Brookville.
“It was definitely a team effort,” Cordonnier said in a postgame interview with the Sidney Daily News. “We knew the key would be stopping (Sarah) Bergman. I had a lot of help from my teammates and they did a great job of finding me on offense.”
Everytime Bergamn got the ball inside, Cordonnier was there — and Cameo Wilson and Laurissa Poling would converge on her as well as she finished 0-for-11 for the game.
And that summed up the day for the Trojans, although it didn’t start out that way.
On Botkins first possession, Aliya Jones drilled a three to give Botkins a 3-0 lead.
But, the Trojans would not score again until a free throw by Taire Greve at the 5:41 mark of the first half — and their second field goal didn’t come until Greve hit a shot with 4:32 to go in the half, as Botkins made just one field goal in each quarter.
And while Botkins missed 15 straight shots after the three by Jones, Russia was struggling against the Botkins defense in the early going.
Russia didn’t make field goal until Laurissa Poling tied the game at three on a basket at the 3:2o mark of the opening quarter to tie the game at 3-3.
The Raiders then scored eight quick points to take an 11-3 lead after one.
Wilson had a dish to Ashley Scott for two and scored off a steal, Shea Borchers hit a jumper and Poling hit a shot at the buzzer.
Cordonnier took over in the second and third quarters, when she scored all 16 of her points by hitting seven of nine shots from the floor — including both her 3-point attempts.
She was 4-for-5 in the second quarter, with a late three to put Russia up 22-6 at the break.
Cordonnier and Scott opened the third quarter with threes to put Russia up 32-7 and the Raiders cruised to the win from there.
Cordonnier had seven rebounds and was one of five Raiders with two assists as Russia spread the ball around.
Poling added eight points and blocked three shots for Russia, 20-5.
Paige Lane led Botkins, 15-10, with eight points and eight rebounds — going a perfect 6-for-6 from the line, while Bergman pulled down five rebounds.
Russia was 15 of 34 from the floor for 44 percent, including three of six from behind the arc for 50 percent. The Lady Raiders converted eight of 20 free throws for 40 percent.
Botkins was four of 39 from the floor for 10 percent, including one of 16 from 3-point range for six percent. The Trojans made 15 of 19 free throws for 79 percent.
Botkins won the battle of the boards 32-30 and both teams finished with 13 turnovers.
Janell Greve 0-3-3, Taira Greve 1-1-3, Paige Lane 1-6-8, Aliya Jones 1-0-3, Sarah Bergman 0-2-2, Madison Gerstner 1-0-2, Courtney Sutton 0-2-2, Jill Greve 0-0-0, Kinley Topp 0-0-0, Makenna Mauer 0-0-0, Madison Wendel 0-0-0, Hannah Ott 0-0-0, Alyssa Bailey 0-0-0, Grace Homan 0-1-1. Totals: 4-15-24.
Jenna Cordonnier 7-0-16, Laurissa Poling 2-4-8, Shea Borchers 1-0-2, Cameo Wilson 1-3-5, Whitney Pleiman 1-0-2, Kendall Monnin 0-0-0, Alexus Booker 0-0-0, Olivia Moorman 0-1-1, Ashley Scott 2-0-5, Katelyn Monnin 1-0-2, Lauren Monnier 0-0-0, Jessica York 0-0-0, Katie Heung 0-0-0. Totals: 15-8-41.
3-point field goals — Botkins: Jones. Russia: Cordonnier (2), Scott.
Score By Quarters
Botkins 3 6 13 24
Russia 11 22 33 41
Records: Botkins 15-10, Russia 20-5.