NON-LEAGUE HOOPS … Bryan’s Ella Rau fires a triple in the Golden Bears 57-32 victory over Edgerton. (PHOTO BY RICH HARDING / THE VILLAGE REPORTER)
By: John Shell
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
BRYAN (December 11, 2023) – In Monday night’s high school girls hoop action, the undefeated Bryan Golden Bears hosted the Edgerton Bulldogs for a non-conference matchup.
The Lady Golden Bears came into the game averaging 59 points per game to the Lady Bulldogs average of 38 points per game.
In the first quarter of action, Bryan started out moving the ball very quickly and drew a couple of early fouls by Edgerton which allowed senior guard Ella Rau to score the first baskets of the night from the foul line.
Bryan’s full court press produced several steals which led to several more buckets for the Golden Bears and put them up 5-0.
Sophomore Ava Giesige gave the Bulldogs their first points on a three-point shot that hit its mark. However, in the next Bryan possession senior point guard Marah Smith answered Giesige’s shot with a triple of her own.
Several turnovers and defensive rebound opportunities allowed Bryan’s offense to feed senior forward Kailee Thiel under the hoop for points on four different occasions in the first quarter.
Theil would score eight of the Bear’s 16 first quarter points thus putting them up 16-7 at the close of the first quarter.
The second quarter was the highest scoring for both teams. Bryan kept up the defensive pressure they had applied in the first quarter and again forced several turnovers.
After swiping the ball away, Smith was able to find senior forward Anna Gray for an open layup in the first seconds of the quarter.
However, sophomore point guard Ava Swank breathed life into the Edgerton offense with a long jump shot for two.
Swank’s continued offensive efforts would go on to produce six of the Bulldog’s ten points in the quarter.
The Bears offense passed the ball around the court very effectively which allowed Rau and Smith to find openings to take three-point shots adding crucial points to the Bryan lead.
In addition, the Golden Bear domination of the boards also contributed to more opportunities to put up additional points by Gray, Voigt, and Rau. Going into halftime, Bryan was up by 21, leading Edgerton by a score of 38-17.
As the third quarter started, it was the Egerton defense who came out poised to slow the Golden Bear offense and chip away at the score deficit.
Junior guard Casey Everetts hit a mid-range jumper early in the quarter and then found teammate Giesige open under the basket on the next possession thus adding some much-needed points for the Bulldog offense.
While the added defensive pressure by the Bulldogs did challenge the Bear’s, Bryan’s shooting accuracy really began to play a factor in the game.
Several shots from the Bulldog’s that didn’t find their mark were rebounded and taken down for scores by the Bryan offense.
Notably, Thiel’s dominance in the paint gave her multiple opportunities to score quick baskets from under the hoop.
In addition, Rau, Gray, and Voigt also added baskets that helped extend the Bryan lead to 32 points going into the fourth quarter.
Due to the extent of the Bryan lead, a running clock was established for the remainder of the game. The only other scoring by the Lady Golden Bears was a triple swished by sophomore guard Josey Arnold in the opening minutes of the quarter.
In an effort to fight to the end, Everetts successfully put up a three for the Lady Bulldogs and Giesige found the hoop twice off of rebounds.
However, the late efforts by Edgerton only closed the gap between the two teams to 25 with Bryan outlasting Edgerton 57-32.
EDGERTON (32) – Burke 0; C. Gerschutz 2; Giesige 9; Romero 0; Stuut 0; Swank 12; M. Gershutz 0; Keppeler 2; Herman 0; Everetts 7; Totals: 10-2-6 – 32
BRYAN (57) – Mason 0; Zimmerman 0; Thiel 15; Voigt 10; Gray 9; Mossburg 0; Hanna 0; Brown 0; Rau 11; Smith 9; Arnold 3; Langham 0; Totals: 14-7-8 – 57
EDGERTON 7 10 5 10 – 32
BRYAN 16 22 16 3 – 57
JUNIOR VARSITY: Bryan, 20-5 (2 quarters)