By Kurt Ritzman
Assistant Sports Editor
Preston and Camanche traded lengthy runs Friday night in a Big East Conference girls basketball game.
The Trojans (3-1, 2-1 conference) had runs of 13-2 and 16-2 with a Camanche 23-4 run sandwiched in between. But it was an 8-2 run by Preston to close the game that sealed its 46-37 victory.
Camanche (4-1, 0-1) trailed 38-31 before cutting the lead to three on baskets by Courtney Sowle and Libby Schnoor. After Schnoor’s basket, Preston’s defense clamped down and held the Indians scoreless for a minute and a half.
“We didn’t attack their 1-2-2 zone in the halfcourt,” Camanche coach Danny Vogel said. “We weren’t willing to attack and we didn’t do a good job of getting the ball into the middle. I can’t believe we didn’t attack. That’s what we worked on.”
Preston senior point guard Cassie Aldis said the Trojans were focused on Camanche’s shooter, but also cognizant of the Indians’ height.
“We talked a lot,” she said. “We were shifting quicker, so we could cover more ground. That’s probably the best defense we played.”
During that stretch, Lizzie Meier hit a layup and Aldis went 4-of-4 from the free-throw line to push the advantage to nine points. Aldis went 7-of-9 from the line for the game and scored a game-high 21 points.
“My free throws have been bad this year,” Aldis said. “I’d like to thank my Aunt Dana — she always helps with my free throws. After the Northeast game (when Aldis shot 2-of-7 from the line) she said I wasn’t following through. So, I worked on that in practice.”
Preston led 5-4 early in the game but then went on a 13-2 run to take a big lead. The Trojans got six points from Brooke Krogman and five from Aldis during that stretch.
“We weren’t getting caught up in what we wanted the end result to be, but what we needed to accomplish to get there,” Aldis said.
But that’s when the Indians started making their charge, behind Sowle. Sowle scored eight of Camanche’s 11 points in the second quarter, helping the Indians to cut the gap to two.
Camanche continued its run in the third quarter, taking a 22-21 lead on a 3-pointer by Kylie Vogel. The Indians stretched their lead to 29-22 after five consecutive points from Schnoor.
Then Preston made its second long run of the night.
“I think it had a lot to do with when we got ahead, they’d step up and when we were behind, we’d step up,” Aldis said. “We needed to have focus and patience. We calmed down. In basketball, especially in this conference, you’ve got to focus. You’ve got to give 100 percent all the time, otherwise you’ll get bit in the butt.”
Preston scored the final seven points of the third quarter to tie the score at 29 heading into the final frame.
Aldis hit a 3-pointer, was fouled and made the free throw 16 seconds into the fourth quarter to put the Trojans ahead 33-29.
“I was open and she came flying at me from the side,” Aldis said. “I was lucky. It was going to go off course, but she hit my hand and went on course.”
After a baseline jumped by Schnoor, Aldis drilled another 3-pointer.
“We’ve got to regroup,” coach Vogel said. “It’s still early in the season. We’ll work on it, so something like this doesn’t happen again.”
The Indians, ranked eighth in Class 3A, were without Julia Moore for the entire second half after she suffered an early injury.
For the Trojans, it was a big win after an overtime loss Tuesday in conference play, which knocked them out of the Class 1A rankings.
“We realize it’s going to be a good conference,” Aldis said. “We can’t dwell on the last game. We still have big games left. We put our aggression from the loss into practice. We learned from our mistakes and we’re focusing on what’s ahead.”
PRESTON 46, CAMANCHE 37
CAMANCHE (4-1, 0-1) — Kylie Vogel 2 0-0 6, Courtney Sowle 7 2-3 16, Brettan Hilgendorf 0 0-0 0, Lindsey Grams 2 0-0 4, Julia Moore 1 0-0 2, Libby Schnoor 4 0-2 9, Jordan Nissen 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 2-5 37.
PRESTON (3-1, 2-1) — Cassie Aldis 5 7-9 21, Ryleigh Keeney 3 0-3 6, Lizzie Meier 2 0-0 4, Brooke Krogman 6 0-0 12, Rose Strait 0 0-0 0, Gabby Vasconcelos 0 0-0 0, Emily Strait 1 0-0 3. Totals 17 7-12 46.
Camanche 6 11 12 8 — 37
Preston 14 5 10 17 — 46
3-point goals — Camanche 3 (Vogel 2, Schnoor); Preston 5 (Aldis 4, E. Strait). Total fouls — Camanche 14; Preston 7. Fouled out — none.