“Just an overall good team win,” Norwalk coach Brock Manlet said. “I told them any win is a good win because they’re not easy to come by.”
The Truckers improved to 9-2 overall and 4-0 in the SBC with the 59-37 win against Sandusky. The Blue Streaks (4-8, 0-6) are looking for their first division win.
“Every game we’ve played in the division has been tough and this was no exception,” Manlet said. “Sandusky played extremely well. They took us out off some things we wanted to do. The thing we have been emphasizing to our girls is you cannot take a game off — because that other team is good and will knock you off.”.
Norwalk started off on 11-0 run and ended the first quarter up 21-10.
Sandusky freshman Da’Shanti Miller scored all of her six points to get the Blue Streaks on the board.
“We knew it was going to be a fight because Norwalk has a good program, a good team. (They’re) a well-coached team. They do exactly what their coach asks them to do,” Sandusky coach Richard Koonce said.
Norwalk went into halftime with a 37-22 lead.
“We had them frustrated in the third quarter,” said Koonce, who saw his team playing stronger defense. “That’s the only quarter we won.”
Sandusky outscored the home team 8-5 in the third, but Norwalk ended the quarter up, 42-30.
“I thought we settled down defensively after a rough first half. Overall we played good defense. We had some run-outs. We started playing with energy. We still have some things we need to clean up, but I’m proud of our effort,” Manlet said.
Norwalk started putting backcourt pressure on Sandusky early in the game.
“We wanted to pressure a little bit more than we did actually. We just got into a little bit of foul trouble; we had to back off a little bit. That was definitely our game plan. I thought we followed it pretty good early on,” Manlet said.
Senior Jada Thomas scored 10 of her 15 points for Norwalk in the first half. She had a double-double, pulling down 14 rebounds. Thomas also dished out two assists and had a steal.
“Specifically, Jada Thomas I thought was really good tonight,” said Manlet, who liked her energy and rebounding effort. “She did a nice job.”
Jasmine Thomas swished in 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
“I thought Kaelyn (Harkness) had an overall good floor plan,” Manlet said.
Harkness scored 15 points, 13 of which came in the first half. She also pulled down six rebounds to go with three assists and a steal.
“I thought we got some good minutes off the bench from Mascie Horner and Elena Barber. I thought they did a nice job off the bench,” Manlet said.
Senior Bethany Cring grabbed six steals and pulled down four rebounds. She also distributed three assists.
“Bethany has been playing really well for us. She has become our lock-down defender,” Manlet said. “She’s playing the other team’s best offensive player. She’s doing a nice job with that, but she’s also grown up offensively. She’s doing a nice job shooting the ball and spreading the ball around. She’s just an all-around good player and continues to play with confidence.”
For Sandusky, sophomore Marissa Esposito led the way with 16 points, with 10 coming from the free-point line.
Junior Anziyah Cunningham added 10 points.
“They were successful when Marissa had her feet set underneath her and was able to her shot off. Anziyah did well for us when she attacked the basket,” Koonce said.
The coach saw his team not being aggressively offensively in the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t keep them moving. We didn’t keep them sliding on defense. We kinda stood too much,” Koonce said.
The Norwalk junior varsity squad made it a sweep Friday with a 46-9 win.
The Truckers led 23-4 at halftime. Sandusky didn’t score in the second quarter.
Sophomore Skylarr Story and Alex Nolan each netted eight points for Norwalk.
On Tuesday, Norwalk hosts Bellevue (11-1, 5-0) in a huge SBC Lake division game. Fremont Ross goes to Sandusky that same night.
Follow Reflector staff writer Cary Ashby on Twitter at @Cary_reporter and on Facebook at “Cary Ashby — reporter & comic book blogger.”