MINERAL RIDGE - The score from Monday night's game in Mineral Ridge was not really indicative of the effort that was put out from both teams.
Each team won the quarter battle in alternate turns. By the end of the first quarter, Badger had a three-point edge. At the half, the Rams came back and outscored the Braves by four to take a one-point lead into the locker rooms.
But the third quarter was the key to Badger's 61-50 victory. The Braves scored 24 points to the Rams' 10, which presented a deficit Mineral Ridge couldn't come back from in this non-conference matchup.
"We have a tough time playing with a lot of consistency," Badger coach Dusty Karr said. "We go on runs and spurts and then we get complacent. It would be nice to be able to do that all the time but they are younger kids and sometimes they will get complacent and get soft on defense and give up a few runs like that."
The Braves started on the initiative and went on an 8-2 run over the first 4 minutes of the contest.
Harlee Logan scored four of those eight points. She polished off the game dropping seven field goals and was a perfect 4-4 from the free-throw line for 18 points.
"It was good," Logan said. "The whole team was all around us. It was just kind of a team effort for everyone. Everyone just stayed in the game. There were times when we were up and down and we had flukes every once and a while but after that, we worked it all out and we just came together."
The second quarter is when Ridge played its best basketball of the night. The Rams held off the Braves for the first 3 minutes of the quarter, taking over with an 8-0 run out of the gate. Badger did not get their first score of the stanza until the 5:14 mark.
"We really wanted to control the tempo today," Mineral Ridge coach John Matisi said. "They have been scoring a lot of points. If you look in the paper, they have been scoring 70 points a game. We wanted to really run our stuff. We wanted to not let them get out in transition. We wanted to take good shots and set up our defense. We really did a good job of that that second quarter. They switched it up on us. They went man and zone a little bit. We really switched sides of the floor with the ball. We really did a nice job of running our stuff. If it wasn't there the first time, then we ran 30 seconds or a minute of offense and took good shots so we could set up our defense. That's really what we did well in the second quarter."
Badger's seven girl rotation woke up after halftime though, and held Mineral Ridge to only 10 points in the third. Cheyanne Dickson and Izabella Armstrong picked up their fourth fouls in back to back possessions with 3:08 left in the third which made Karr adjust his game.
"It affected our subbing patterns," Karr said. "Now we have to leave girls on the floor longer than we want to. It's not anything new. We've had players in foul trouble before. When you have girls with four, it is one thing to have girls with three but if they have four, it shortens your bench and makes it shorter than what you already have."
Junior guard Taylor Kramar drained five shots from the field and went 5 of 8 from the line to finish with 17 points for the Braves. Dickson and Armstrong both had eight.
When the fourth quarter began, the Rams were down 51-38. That is when Mineral Ridge's Peyton Allen decided to bring her 3-point game to the table, connecting with two during the fourth, which helped them cut the lead to nine with 1:44 left in the game, but there wasn't enough time left to capitalize on the momentum.
Allen acquired 15 of her points in the first half, finishing with 23 points to lead all scorers. Alyssa Harkins backed her up with 17 points.
On Friday, Mineral Ridge hosts Mathews and on Monday Badger travels to Southington to take on Chalker.