GIRLS BASKETBALL: Landis’s effort leads Beecher past Herscher
HERSCHER — Both teams were down a key player, but Beecher’s depth was too much.
With Cierra Welch out for Beecher and Mya Johanson out for Herscher, the Bobcats relied on their experienced players to help shoulder the load which led to a 39-23 victory over the Tigers on Saturday.
“We continue to play better and better each day,” Beecher coach Adam Keen said. “Once we saw that Mya wasn’t playing, we decided to double team Mattie Brown since we knew (Herscher) had some young players. Our goal was to make someone else beat us and it worked.”
Watching Beecher’s Margaret Landis is 32 minutes of pure exhaustion. She plays with such a relentless mentality and truly epitomizes the word ‘hustle’.
Her experience and knack for picking the right spots to attack the basket offensively killed the Tigers time after time. She finished with a game-high 13 points to lead the Bobcats
As the team’s floor general she made the smart passes, continuously found the open lanes and moved well without the ball. Her feisty nature on the court also earned five rebounds and four steals.
Defensively, that relentless was on full display. After Brown scored all eight first-quarter points for Herscher, Landis turned up the intensity. Despite the six-inch height difference, she locked Brown down to keep her scoreless the rest of the day.
“Margaret was amazing on both sides of the floor,” Keen said. “She bottled up Mattie defensively and to play with the intensity that she does is tough for any athlete to do. And to be able to attack on the other side to get some buckets, she was the difference in the game. Tremendous effort.”
Already without Welch for the game, Beecher suffered another blow when senior Jaela Kellum went down with an injury just a minute into the game.
That paved the way for freshman froward Rhiannon Saller to come in and make her impact felt early. She made a difference on the boards coming up with some key rebounds that turned into points on the other end.
However, she wasn’t the only freshman to make an impact. Abby Shepard stayed aggressive from the opening tip providing some scoring while Talia Messana scored and rebounded in the fourth quarter to officially put the game on ice.
Shepard finished with 10 points and five rebounds, Messana added seven points with three rebounds while Saller had two points with six rebounds.
“That was the best I’ve seen Talia play,” Keen said. “She did a great job being physical inside and getting rebounds. Rhiannon provided some size and rebounds early on that prevented second chance points for (Herscher). They all were huge and played great.”
In addition to Landis, Shepard, Messana and Saller, Kaylie Sippel added seven points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
For Herscher, Brown finished with eight points and seven rebounds. Mikayla Hendershott added six points while Megan Burns and Emeila Schafer had three points and three rebounds a piece.
Beecher travels to Donovan for River Valley Conference action on Monday while Herscher hosts Iroquois West on Tuesday at Bonfield.