Toronto unable to catch up with Bridgeport

TORONTO – Toronto was able to stay in the girls basketball game Monday night against Bridgeport for the first half, but the Lady Bulldogs turned it on the second half to win going away 69-30 at the George J. Kunzler Memorial Gymnasium.

The Lady Dogs forced the young Lady Red Knights into 30 turnovers in the game and got some easy buckets off of them, especially in the second half.

Sophomore Caitlyn Kroll, one of the better girls players in the OVAC, scored 23 points to lead the way for the Lady Bulldogs.

“We had a nice little talk at halftime,” said victorious Bridgeport coach, Rob Zitzelberger. “You can’t just play offense. You have to play defense, too.

“Toronto is an improved team and coach (Mallory) Blanton is doing a nice job with them so I told them if you want to let them back into this game, fine.”

The Lady Bulldogs scored 21 of their points from beyond the arc with Kroll tossing in two three-pointers and MacLaine Murad hitting three for nine of her 19 points. Senior Nicole Smolenak also swished two from long range and finished with 12 points.

“We probably shoot a little better than that from long range, but this is a new gym and a strange gym,” said Zitzelberger, whose team made 23 of 58 shots for a shooting percentage of only 22.4. “But I’m very pleased with our team. We’re playing very well.”

The Lady Red Knights, who were outscored in each of the four quarters, fell behind by 29-17 at the half and just couldn’t get anything going in the second half. Bridgeport went on a 28-0 run from midway through the third period till there was only 1:38 left in the game to put it away.

“I think we kind of ran out of gas there in the second half,” said coach Blanton, who is beginning her fourth year at the helm. “They were hitting shots in the second half and we weren’t. We had not faced that type of defense – that much pressure. I think we were struggling with how to deal with it.”

The Lady Red Knights, who had five girls in the scoring column, were lead by junior Lexie Berger and senior Lindsay Bodnar with eight points each.

Katie Spadafora came off the bench to score seven points and led the Lady Knights with six rebounds.

Toronto did well in the shooting department, it just didn’t shoot enough. The Lady Red Knights shot 37.1 from the field making 13 of 35 shots.

The win is the third without a loss for the Lady Bulldogs while Toronto lost its second game in three starts.

Both teams return to action at home Thursday with Bridgeport hosting Madonna and Toronto taking on St. John Central.

Bridgeport 69, Toronto 30

Bridgeport 16 13 22 18 – 69

Toronto 10 7 10 3 – 30

BRIDGEPORT (3-0): Kroll 7 7-8 23, Trouten 1 0-0 2, B. Massey 0 1-4 1, Murad 5 6-6 19, Smolenak 5 0-1 12, Millard 3 0-0 6, Johnson 0 2-2 2, Renzler 1 0-0 2, D. Massey 1 0-0 2. Totals: 23 16-21 69. 3-pointers: (Kroll, 2, Murad, 3, Smolenak, 2); Rebounds 16 (Kroll, 5); Turnovers: 11.

TORONTO (1-2): Harrison 1 0-0 2, Berger 3 1-2 8, Bauman 2 1-2 5, Bodnar 4 0-0 8, Spadafora 3 1-2 7. Totals: 13 3-6 30. 3-pointers, (Berger); Rebounds: 24 (Spadafora, 6); Turnovers: 30.