A convincing win over Willard sure seems to be a step in the right direction.
The Lady Red scored the first six points of the game and never trailed by less, rolling past Willard, 64-40, in non-league action on Tuesday night.
"We wanted to come out and set the tone," Santoro said. "We wanted them to play at our pace. I thought we came out and just continually pressured the ball. I thought they struggled to get the ball down low because of our guard play up top and the pressure we put on them."
Bellevue (5-0) increased the lead to 13-2 after buckets from Gabrielle Turner and Casey Santoro and the Lady Red were well on their way.
"We had to pressure them and you have to play on the ball defense," coach Santoro said. "We had girls position themselves right. I thought we rebounded well with them."
A score from Santoro gave the Lady Red a 19-8 lead after eight minutes. In the second quarter, the lead was still at 11 points when Cassidy Crawford made a pair of free throws and Chloe Wiers scored to cut the lead to seven — the closest the Flashes had been since the opening 90 seconds of the game.
But, that was the closest that Willard (5-1) would get. Cory Santoro nailed a 3, Casey Santoro made two free throws and Cory Santoro had a layup to extend the lead back to 30-17.
"We talked about the start," Willard coach Jon Dawson said. "As much as we talked about it, anytime you play Bellevue, you have to match their intensity coming out. We got caught on our heels a bit and did not attack them."
The Lady Red pushed the margin even bigger in the final two minutes of the first half. Riley Mohr tallied her only bucket before Turner put in two free throws. Crawford split two free throws for Willard, but Casey Santoro drilled a 3-pointer with four seconds left to send Bellevue into halftime up 37-20.
"The pressure - Cory Santoro really gets up and pressures the ball," Dawson said. "It did not allow us to get in an offense. We were not able to take advantage of our size as much as I thought we could."
The Lady Red maintained a 47-30 lead after three quarters before extending the lead in the fourth quarter. Casey Santoro scored then added a triple after one of Willard's 23 turnovers. Later, six straight points by Bellevue ballooned the lead to 60-34 with 2:31 left in the game.
"It is a battle," Dawson said. "We dug ourselves a hole and it is hard to get out of it."
The Lady Red committed just seven turnovers. Despite Willard starting four girls at 5-foot-10 or taller, Bellevue was only out-rebounded by a 34-29 margin.
"Our 5-foot-4 point guard (Casey Santoro) is leading our team in rebounds," coach Santoro said. "We have girls that do a heck of a job rebounding for us. McKenna Davis (six rebounds) is coming out of her shell."
Crawford led Willard with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Lydia Wiers grabbed nine rebounds for the Flashes.
"Cassidy is pretty versatile," coach Santoro said. "She can go in and she can hurt you from the outside. She plays with a high motor. She is a nice player. Payton (Vogel) did the best she could do against her."
Casey Santoro paced the Lady Red with 23 points while Cory Santoro scored 18 points. Turner added nine points and a team-high eight rebounds.
"We have a way to go this year," coach Santoro said. "But, I like the way we played tonight."
Willard made 14-of-38 shots while Bellevue connected on 23-of-50.
Cory Santoro 7-2—18, Gabrielle Turner 2-5—9, Payton Vogel 3-1—7, Casey Santoro 9-3—23, McKenna Davis 1-0—2, Riley Mohr 1-0—2, Emma Bollinger 0-1—1, Marley Ruffing 0-2—2. TOTALS 23-14—64.
Kalli Sowers 0-1—1, Chloe Wiers 3-0—6, Cassidy Crawford 4-7—16, Lydia Wiers 1-1—3, Presley Feltner 2-0—4, Layla Dials 1-0—2, Mckenna Stephens 2-0—4, Jena Adams 0-2—2, Tristin Buurma 1-0—2. TOTALS 14-11—40.
Bellevue 19 18 10 17 — 64
Willard 8 12 10 10 — 40
3-point FGs: (B) Co. Santoro 2, Ca. Santoro 2; (W) Crawford
Norwalk 41, Port Clinton 30
PORT CLINTON — The visiting Truckers won their first game of the season with Tuesday’s non-league win over the host Redskins.
Norwalk (1-4) led 29-21 at halftime and 35-24 through three quarters. They were able to maintain that margin over the final eight minutes.
Elena Barber had 18 points and nine rebounds to pace the Truckers. Lindsey Koenig added nine points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Mascie Horner 1-0—3; Lindsey Koenig 2-5—9; Elena Barber 6-6—18; Paige Mauer 2-0—5; Alex Nolan 1-2—4; Skylarr Story 1-0—2. TOTALS 13-13—41.
Jackson 2-1—5; Heilmann 1-0—2; Laurel 0-3—3; Guth 3-5—11; Smith 1-0—2; Carnicom 2-2—7. TOTALS 9-11—30.
Norwalk 11 18 6 6 — 41
P. Clinton 12 9 3 6 — 30
3-point FGs: (N) Horner, Mauer; (PC) Carnicom
Edison 58, Fre. SJCC 32
MILAN — The Chargers improved to 4-1 overall with Tuesday’s non-league win over the visiting Crimson Streaks.
Hannah Vitaz had 11 points and seven rebounds for Edison, while Alana Fidler added 10 points. Mariah Medina had seven points and six assists, and Jess Stoll added seven points and nine rebounds.
K. Burns 1-3—6; H. Paeth 3-3—11; T. Reineck 5-1—11; E. Wright 1-0—2; S. Wooten 1-0—2. TOTALS 11-7—32.
Jayla Medina 1-1—3; Lilli Schuster 0-3—3; Mariah Medina 3-0—7; Molly Houser 3-0—6; Alana Fidler 3-3—10; Hannah Vitaz 5-1—11; Sam Smith 2-0—4; Deana Blatnik 2-3—7; Jess Stoll 2-3—7. TOTALS 21-14—58.
SJCC 5 8 8 11 — 32
Edison 9 12 19 18 — 58
3-point FGs: (SJ) Path 2, Burns; (E) M. Medina, Fidler
Crestview 67, Plymouth 26
OLIVESBURG — The Big Red fell to 1-4 overall (0-2 Firelands Conference) with Tuesdya’s loss against the Cougars.
Tristen Wiley scored 12 of the team’s 26 points in the defeat.
PLYMOUTH (1-4, 0-2)
Emily Akers 0-2—2; Mallory Miller 0-1—1; Tristen Wiley 5-0—12; Lauren Perrigan 2-2—4; Shyan Gale 1-0—2; Hannah Gillum 2-2—4; Hall 0-1—1. TOTALS 8-8—26.
CRESTVIEW (4-1, 2-0)
Kylie Ringler 3-0—7; Kathleen Leeper 4-2—12; Emily Fry 2-0—4; Mary Leeper 5-0—10; Elly Motter 3-1—7; Kenedi Goon 4-0—8; Destiny Hargett 1-0—2; Autumn Bailey 6-2—14; Lindsey Them 1-0—3. TOTALS 29-5—67.
Plymouth 0 6 4 16 — 26
Crestview 12 16 22 17 — 67
3-point FGs: (P) Wiley 2 (CV) Ringler 1; K. Leeper 2; Them 1