By Bryant Billing
Sidney Daily News
HOUSTON — Two big runs helped New Bremen earn its first win of the season in a nonconference game on Thursday at Houston.
The Cardinals scored 13 consecutive points in the second quarter and then scored nine straight early in the third to pull away to a 51-34 victory. New Bremen improves to 1-1 while Houston drops to 0-2.
New Bremen lost its season opener 38-33 at Anna last Friday.
“We talked about that all week, about bouncing back,” New Bremen coach Chris Burden said. “We had to take care of us, more than anything. The girls responded. It’s kind of been a rough week, but they responded well and they passed with flying colors.”
Houston took a 10-9 lead early in the second quarter but didn’t score over a four-minute period, during which New Bremen scored 13 points to take control.
Kelly Naylor led the Cardinals with 20 points, 11 of which came in the first half. Kayla Bergman added 14, including 12 in the first quarter. Sophomore forward Madison Cordonnier scored 11.
“This is Kayla’s fourth year playing for me, and it’s Kelly’s third year,” Burden said. “Big players play in big games, and they definitely brought their game tonight. …(Cordonnier) did not play her greatest against Anna, but she bounced back and hit some shots, which I knew she would. She’s kind of young and has no fear at times, and that’s what I like in our players.”
Jess Monnier and Hayden Riesenbeck scored baskets in the first minute of the third to bring Houston within 28-18. The Wildcats came out in a full-court press, but New Bremen quickly settled down and pulled away.
“I thought we’d try to get some pressure and maybe try to get the tempo up and try to get some turnovers,” Houston coach Brad Allen said. “We’ve got to capitalize. They shot the ball well tonight. We had some good looks and some good shots, but sometimes they weren’t falling.”
Cordonnier hit consecutive baskets to put New Bremen up 32-18 with 6:02 left in the third, then Naylor hit a 3 and followed with a jumper with 5:16 left to boost the lead to 37-18.
“That’s just a sign of a good team that you get kicked in the teeth to start the second half and have the ability to respond with a nice run to stop the bleeding,” Burden said.
Riesenbeck led Houston with 10 points while Monnier finished with nine and Amber Stangel scored eight. It’s the second consecutive lopsided loss for the Wildcats, which opened the season with a 52-27 loss to Covington last Friday.
“I think we played a little better than we did Friday, and we’re looking to keep playing better on Saturday when we go to Jackson Center,” Allen said.
New Bremen scored the first two baskets of the game, but Houston finished the first on a big run. Stangel made a put-back with 3:28 left and then made a long 2-point shot from just inside the left wing about a minute later to tie it 8-8.
Cordonnier made a free throw to give the Cardinals a one-point lead early in the second, but Monnier made a put-back with 6:05 left to give Houston a 10-9 lead.
The Wildcats struggled to hit baskets the rest of the quarter, and New Bremen finished on a big run to take control before halftime.
Bergman hit a basket to put the Cardinals up by one, then Cordonnier made a basket with 5:23 left to stretch the lead to 13-10. Bergman then made a basket, Naylor made a shot in the paint and Bergman made a pair of free throws.
“We had some turnovers there that caused their points, and if we control that, it’s a new ballgame,” Allen said. “… That second quarter, we dug a hole, and it was tough to get out of it.”
Naylor hit a 3 with 2:34 left in the second to finish the 13-0 run and give New Bremen a 22-10 lead.
“Our game plan was to come in and get the ball up and down the floor and wear them out,” Burden said. “We’ve got some good guards and subs to be able to do that and not miss a beat. The ability to be able to do that and get up and down the floor and take advantage of the easy buckets helped get us the lead.”
New Bremen hosts Celina on Saturday for a nonconference contest.