The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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December 28, 2012

Cardinals respond with win

ERIE, Ill. — A day after Erie girls basketball coach Brian Howell questioned the desire of his team, the Cardinals responded in a big way Thursday at the Warkins Cardinal Classic girls basketball tournament.

“We didn’t go out with our hearts (Wednesday), but you could see a big difference from last night to tonight,” Erie junior Laykin Miner said. “We had a walk-through (Thursday morning) and we did fun things. We went through our plays, but then we played games. As a team we meshed more, and that really helped us.”

Miner led the charge early, scoring six of Erie’s first nine points as the Cardinals built a 9-3 lead on their way to a 57-44 win over Ridgewood.

“It felt great coming out and getting that lead,” Miner said. “I remember playing Ridgewood when we were in middle school and had Dads’ Club and that stuff. I knew their players and they are good at perimeter guarding, so we could drive against them.”

Ridgewood scored to make it 9-5, but then Erie scored the next nine points to take an 18-5 lead. Ridgewood didn’t get closer than six points the rest of the way. When the Spartans attempted to come back, Miner and the Cardinals had an answer.

Ridgewood cut the lead to eight early in the third quarter, but Courtney Cobert — who scored a game-high 19 points — drilled a jumper to push it back to 10. Then Miner got one of her game-high six steals in the backcourt and converted a transition layup, keying a run that pushed the lead back to 15.

The Spartans again made a run, cutting the Cardinals’ lead to 46-37 with three minutes to play in the game. Miner made a pair of free throws to push the lead back to double figures, where it would stay for the rest of the game.

“Once they cut into our lead, we went back into transition,” Miner said. “We got the ball and we ran. That’s what we do best.”

Rachel Cobert pulled down 14 rebounds for Erie.

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