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December 16, 2013

Cochranton rolls to region win over Cambridge Springs

COCHRANTON — When Kendell Dickson puts her foot down to stop an opposing team’s scoring run, she does it with authority.

The Cochranton girls basketball team jumped out to a big lead early at home Monday night, only to watch Region 3 rival Cambridge Springs claw its way back into the contest early in the second half.

Enter the foot of Miss Dickson.

Three consecutive possessions turned into three consecutive 3-pointers for Dickson late in the third quarter, slamming the door on a Lady Blue Devils’ comeback, and securing a 50-33 win for the Lady Cardinals at The Bird’s Nest.

Cochranton (3-1, 2-0 Region 3) dominated the first half and held a 31-14 lead at the break. Then, however, the Blue Devils’ Paige Wolfrom led a 12-4 run to start the second half. Three straight buckets from Wolfrom sparked the run, which also included a pair of baskets from McKayla Zilhaver and a Taylor Babb runner, cutting the Cochranton lead to nine points.

That’s when Dickson took complete control of the game, setting up shop beyond the 3-point line and drilling shot after shot after shot. When it was all said and done, by the time the third quarter came to a close, the Lady Cardinals held a 20-point lead.

“Kendell was left open and she made them,” Cochranton head coach Gary Egli said. “We were able to score from all five spots, and it happened to be her night. We’re working on whoever is open, get the ball and score. When we do that, we play pretty well.”

Dickson finished with a game-high 25 points and nine rebounds.

“I have to hand it to Kendell Dickson,” said Cambridge Springs head coach Rick Grubbs, whose team fell to 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the region. “We lost track of her.”

The Lady Cardinals wasted little time securing an early lead, jumping out to a 13-7 advantage at the end of the first quarter, with Dickson scoring the first seven points for Cochranton. The contest then completely tilted in Cochranton’s favor in the second frame, as the Lady Cardinals turned to the transition game to score multiple baskets after forcing Cambridge Springs into turnovers.

The Lady Cardinals continually got behind the Spa defense and proceeded to score uncontested layups during the second quarter, outscoring the Lady Blue Devils 18-7 in the frame. As the Spa turnovers continued to grow, so did Cochranton’s lead.

“Turnovers. It’s as simple as that,” Grubbs said. “That, and not making shots. I knew turnovers were key, because they were a big problem for us last year. We have to get them under control.”

The Cards were in good shape going into the third. But that little burst by Cambridge was a concern for coach Egli.

“When you get a quick lead early, you have a tendency to let up a little bit,” Egli said. “I think we lost a little focus. Hopefully that’s a good lesson for them.”

Dickson wasn’t the only Lady Cardinal to have a big night, as Madison Bernarding finished with 13 points. Kassidy Dickson added three points and six rebounds in the win.

Leading the way for Cambridge Springs was Wolfrom, who finished with a team-high 13 points.

“This group, especially the young ones, have always been about pressure,” Grubbs said of his young team. “They caused turnovers, but they also committed turnovers. At this level, you can’t do that.”

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