The Lady Vandals did not get off to a good start against Altamont on Saturday.
But coach Michelle McNary called a timeout after watching her team commit three turnovers and score just two points in the first two minutes, pleading with them to play with more intensity.
It didn’t happen right away, but the Lady Vandals certainly responded.
Vandalia would force Altamont into 20 first-half turnovers, made 16 first-half free throws and had a good afternoon from the field in a 64-43 nonconference win.
“We came out flat, and talked about what happened last year,” McNary said. “That was a game where I thought we should win, but we blew it because we came out flat.”
In the final four minutes of the first period in this season’s matchup, Vandalia’s offense finally got going, outscoring the Lady Indians 11-4 to take a 20-8 to the end of the period.
That output was bettered in the second quarter, when the Lady Vandals (4-6) scored 25 points – the best single-quarter output of the year – to take a commanding 45-16 halftime lead.
Freshman Madelyn Hosick scored all of her career-high 10 points in the first half.
“We definitely shot better,” McNary said. “Offensively, things started to go better for us and everything seemed to click.”
Due to the lead and some of the foul trouble that plagued some of Vandalia’s starters, the reserves saw extended action, and many of them played well.
Junior Kaitlyn Kershaw had her best game of the season, scoring eight points and grabbing six rebounds in just 10 minutes of game time.
“By far her best game,” McNary said. “She did a nice job, and if she continues moving without the ball, she’ll continue getting open shots.”
Junior Kylie Sellers made her first varsity shot of the year, hitting a 3-pointer with 2:47 left in the game.
The top rebounder for the game was junior Morgan Cripe, who had 12, and the leading scorer was senior Amber Bruno, who scored 15 points despite spending a lot of minutes on the bench in foul trouble.
As a team, Vandalia had one of its best games from the free-throw line all season, making 18-of-25 shots. Of those, 16 were made in the first half, as Altamont quickly was hit with 10 fouls.
“We don’t even usually make close to that,” McNary said. “It was nice that we shot better today.”
Saturday, Dec. 15
Points: Bruno, 15; Hosick, 10; Cripe, 8; Godoyo, 8; Kershaw, 8; Whightsil, 7; Cothern, 3; Sellers, 3; Dugan, 2.
Rebounds: Cripe, 12; Hosick, 6; Kershaw, 6; Bruno, 5; Godoyo, 4; Whightsil, 4; Team, 4; Bright, 2; Cothern, 2; Dugan, 2; Tinker, 1.
Vandalia was unable to come away with a win in a rematch at Hillsboro on Monday.
The Lady Toppers beat the Lady Vandals, 64-44, after having won the first meeting, 58-40.
Senior Amber Bruno had 22 points to lead all scorers, and Morgan Cripe added nine.
Monday, Dec. 17
Points: Bruno, 22; Cripe, 9; Abby Dugan, 4; Morgan Whightsil, 4; Karlie Bright, 2; Kaitlyn Kershaw, 2; Megan Godoyo, 1.
Rebounds: Bright, 3; Cripe, 3; Kershaw, 3; Brandy Protz, 2; Makayla Tinker, 2; Bruno, 2; Haley Cothern, 1; Godoyo, 1; Whightsil, 1.
Vandalia fell to 0-4 in South Central Conference play with a 52-36 loss at Pana last Thursday.
The Lady Vandals (3-6, 0-4 SCC) were led in scoring by senior Amber Bruno (13), and juniors Megan Godoyo (six) and Morgan Cripe (five).
Godoyo (eight) and Cripe (six) were also the top rebounders.
Thursday, Dec. 13
Points: Bruno, 13; Godoyo, 6; Cripe, 5; Karlie Bright, 4; Madelyn Hosick, 4; Kylie Sellers, 2; Morgan Whightsil, 2.
Rebounds: Godoyo, 8; Cripe, 6; Whightsil, 2; Bright, 1; Bruno, 1; Abby Dugan, 1; Hosick, 1.
Record: 3-6 (0-4 SCC)