“I like that they played zone, and we did all right against it,” Talawanda coach Mary Jo Huismann said. “I thought we’d see it. We practiced a little bit more against it. It’s tough to go up against. You have to be very disciplined. But we’d rather just run and gun, and that usually just gets us through.”
“This is the first time that we really went up against a zone,” said Fears, who scored the last five points of the first frame off a couple of offensive rebounds to tie it at 9-9.
Talawanda (4-0) fired 15 more shots than Monroe, capitalizing on plenty of second-chance opportunities. Fears finished with 10 offensive rebounds.
“She just puts it back up, and they can’t stop her,” Huismann said. “She’s so strong. She’s religious on getting strong.”
A layup by Halee McDade right out of the second-quarter gate gave Talawanda an 11-9 lead, and the Brave never trailed from that point on.
Junior Saffron Weidner and freshman Jordan McComas scored 12 points a piece for Monroe, which cut Talawanda’s lead to 29-23 on a Dobrozsi bucket with 1:48 left in the third quarter.
Farris hit two 3-pointers in the third and another one in the fourth, and the Brave closed it out from there.
Adolph said he saw some bright spots despite his Hornets being outrebounded, 37-14.
“At the end of one, I was pretty happy,” Adolph said. “We talked about it coming down to rebounds and who’s going to be the tougher team. They wanted it more. It was a good experience for our young ones to play against a player like Fears. To see someone like her want it more than anyone else on the floor. That’s what we will take out of this one.”
Talawanda junior Myah Keene, who averages 11.7 points and 5.7 rebounds a contest, did not play on Thursday due to illness, according to Huismann.
“Myah’s a big deal,” said Huismann, who added that Keene played a big part in the Brave’s 65-47 win over Edgewood on Wednesday with her 14 points.
Monroe was also missing senior guard Alexis Lovejoy, who averages 5.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2 steals a game.
Talawanda went eight days without playing a game, until Wednesday’s victory over Edgewood. But Huismann said pulling out two wins in two days is a relief.
“We played last night, which is crazy. Crazy scheduling,” Huismann said. “We’re going to do this one more time like that. It’s hard.
“We didn’t play as well tonight as we did last night,” Huisman added. “We had a tough game against Edgewood. It is hard, but we got through it.”
Monroe travels to Brookville on Saturday at 1:15 p.m., while Talawanda visits Preble Shawnee on Monday at 7:30 p.m.