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Monroe Central routs Bridgeport

T-L Photo/SETH STASKEY MONROE’S Haven Dick goes up for a shot as Bridgeport’s Jaren Tucker defends Saturday afternoon. The Seminoles cruised to a 76-33 victory.

BRIDGEPORT — Monroe Central had an advantage in basically every area that’s important to basketball success Saturday afternoon inside the John J. Havlicek Gymnasium at Bridgeport High School.

It showed, too.

The Seminoles assumed a 20-point lead at halftime and didn’t slow down in the second half en route to claiming a convincing 76-33 repeat win over the Bulldogs.

“We tried to keep a tempo to work on somethings we needed to work on,” Monroe Central head coach Troy Baker said. “We created the tempo we wanted and we definitely had a size advantage. We created more shot opportunities for ourselves.”

Absolutely. The Seminoles with a front line of multiple 6-foot post players collected 40 rebounds during the course of the game, many of which came on the offensive end.

“It doesn’t matter how high you’re able to jump … 6-1 is going to beat 5-5 every day of the week,” Bridgeport head coach Greg Harkness said. “Their size and length hurt us. They’re just bigger than us. That’s not an excuse. You still have to find a way to get rebounds, but it also hurts (defensively) because you’re unable to contest their shots.”

On top of the size, the Seminoles showed a pressure defense, which forced the Bulldogs in numerous turnovers and led to run-out opportunities. All told, Monroe Central led 18-9 after one and then used an 11-2 run late in the second and a 10-3 spurt early in the third to fully blow the game open.

“Defensively, we wanted to create an up-tempo game to get as many shots as we could,” Baker said. “But, at the same time, we wanted to be able to do as many things as wanted to try to do today defensively.”

On the offensive end, the Seminoles were balanced with five double-figure scorers. Trista Morris led the way with 15, while Allee Zwick and slick sophomore point guard Kalista Friday each had 12. Friday also stuffed the stat sheet to a tune of nine assists and six steals.

Haven Dick and Amy Bettinger went for 11 and 10, respectively. Bettinger completed the double-double with a like number of rebounds.

Though disappointed in the second half and overall outcome, Harkness thought his team “did some really good things” in the first half.

“We just have too many self-inflicted wounds,” Harkness said. “We were able to keep the game calm enough in the first half, but once it started to get away we just really couldn’t recover.”

The Bulldogs were led by senior Jaren Tucker’s 21. She connected on four bonus goals. No other Bulldog had more than five.

Bridgeport (1-12) visits Buckeye Local on Monday, while the Seminoles (12-4) trek to Shenandoah on Wednesday.

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