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It took a bit for Mooseheart’s girls basketball team to get rolling on Monday night, but once the Ramblers hit their stride, they cruised to a 45-26 opening round victory over Illinois Lutheran in the Class 1A Gardner South Wilmington Regional.
Trailing early and only ahead 8-6 after the first quarter, the Ramblers slowly moved to a 23-14 halftime lead before taking full control early in the second half.
“We started out kind of slow, but then we found our defensive rhythm,” Mooseheart coach Bryan Miller said. “We got into the passing lanes, got some turnovers and got some easy buckets.”
Mooseheart (8-14) advances to Wednesday’s regional semifinals and plays top-seeded Indian Creek on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
“We definitely have a David and Goliath situation,” Miller said. “We have a big mountain to climb and the girls know that. The best thing we can do is put ourselves in a position to be competitive.”
Ahead by double-digits for much of the second half, the Ramblers struggled a bit with Illinois Lutheran’s press, though the lead was never in jeopardy of dropping into single digits.
“We didn’t finish the game the way we wanted,” Miller said. “But from the first quarter to midway through the third, we played defense the way we wanted to tonight.”
Aishah Adebayo led the Ramblers with 14 points while Diamond Winston and Nowai Kpartipa added 10 and 8 points, respectively, for the victors.
“Postseason wins are always a joy for the program,” Miller said. “It’s something the kids can build confidence on and get them looking toward for the future.”
Kassie Kernagis led Illinois Lutheran with 10 points while Hannah Hinz added 9 points for the Chargers.