There’s something about Beloit. There’s not too many programs that can graduate six seniors, and turn around and go 8-9 deep the following year. West Branch, can, and they are. That something, is a great feeder system bringing kids in every year from the 8th grade that can contribute.
The roster this year includes a couple freshman post players, a soccer POY, a volleyball POY, and multiple returning letterman.
Tonight the Garfield visited from Garrettsville. The G-Men were slowed early by the Warrior defense. It took them four minutes to get on the board, but when they did they struck quickly. A few Jenna Smith nice post moves to her left and a nifty Grace Mills finish took Garfield from scoreless to up 10-8 after the first quarter.
West Branch turned the tide midway through the second when they went on a 13-3 run, fueled by back to back triples by Lippiatt and Egli. Garfield held tight after the run to go in the locker room down seven at half.
The second half seen the Warriors open up a 31-21 lead before there G-Men stormed back on a 8-0 run to force a West Branch timeout. Egli stole any momentum the G-Men may have had going into the 4th quarter when she connected on a nice dish for a layup, then got a steal and a long jumper as the clock expired. From that point on it was all West Branch, finishing the last quarter and a half on a 17-4 run.
The three best players in this game quite possibly were from Garfield. Seaman, Mills and Smith are a very solid point, wing, post trio. The problem is the next best eight players were wearing green. The Warriors wore down the Big 3, Coach Gilbert has a tough time ever taking them off the floor. Given it was the first game, after not having a normal summer or preseason, those kids were gassed.
Jenna Smith finished with a game high 14 points, while showing some nice moves in the post and a good left hand. Grace Mills and Sarah Seaman followed with nine and eight each for the G-Men.
The Warriors played all 12 kids on the roster, and had 8 in the scoring column. They were led by senior Emma Egli, who used her quickness to post 11 points. The Warriors travel to Canfield on Tuesday to battle the Cardinals.