By Jordan Wickstrom
For the Herald
Saturday’s championship game of the River Queen Classic at Clinton High School was a simple matchup of experience versus experience as Prince of Peace met Camanche.
The two teams exchanged their best blows but it was the Indians (3-0) who would end up with a 50-44 victory thanks in large part to their high-powered offense.
“We have a pretty well-rounded team,” Camanche head coach Danny Vogel. said “These girls have played for a couple years and we’re loaded with juniors who have three years experience at the varsity level. They’ve played together for a long time and they’ve built pretty good cohesion. We can go a lot of places offensively and for that matter we can get what I feel most teams can’t get because we have five girls who can do things on the floor that can help us out offensively.”
Despite the win, Vogel was not as impressed by his team’s conditioning and felt it really showed on the defensive side of the ball.
“Defensively, I didn’t think we were very good tonight,” he said. “We didn’t have our legs and we didn’t have as much energy as we had (on Friday). I think (on Friday) our energy was better, our legs were better and I thought we got it down court a little better. I think we were flat and a little tired. It’s something we definitely have to look at and get better at but I was not very pleased by our defense.”
Camanche held a 17-10 advantage after the first quarter and never lost the lead. The Indians held a 30-20 lead at the half with all-tournament team members Courtney Sowle and Kylie Vogel each scoring six points while junior forward Julia Moore led the way with eight points in the half.
Prince of Peace (1-2) did not go quietly, however. The Irish responded, after being down 41-31 heading into the fourth quarter, with a late run that closed the gap to 43-38. But that rally would be too little, too late as Camanche proved too much for the Irish.
“I think the problem is we’re just starting off too slow at the beginning of games and we let them get a lead on us, making it hard for us to come back in the end,” first-year Prince of Peace coach Maggie Furlong said. “We tend to work a lot harder in the fourth quarter and it takes something to spark us. But we’ve got to get going in the first quarter.”
Furlong also admitted the depth of Camanche and ability of all its players made Camanche difficult to gameplan for as the Indians plays an unselfish style of basketball.
“They’re a tough match-up for us,” Furlong said. “We’re a smaller team and they’ve got three girls who are fairly tall that can move in and out. So that was kind of difficult. That’s something that we’ll really have to look at when we play them again but I think there are some ways to get around it. They are a tough match-up with their outside shot and also having two very strong inside players as well.”
One of those strong inside players Furlong mentioned was Moore, who ended up with 17 points. The Indians also had five players score at least six points, helping to balance the offense.
“(Prince of Peace) came out in the second half and triangled our two guards,” coach Vogel said. “I thought Julia did a nice job looking to score and Courtney as well. They had opportunities and they took advantage of those opportunities.”
Prince of Peace’s senior forward Julia Isenhour had 12 points while also being named to the all-tournament team while fellow senior Megan Mulholland had 10 points, six of which came in the fourth quarter.
“Offensively we did OK,” Furlong said. “We missed a few too many shots under the basket and I think that kind of hurt of us. We also didn’t get to the free-throw line as much, getting only eight free-throw shots and missing all of those hurt us. But offensively we put up about what our average is, we’ve just got to find other ways to score and that’s going to be putting in those shots under the basket.”
Prince of Peace will travel to Midland High School on Tuesday for a 6:15 p.m. game while Camanche hosts North Cedar on Friday at 6:15 p.m.
CAMANCHE 50, PRINCE OF PEACE 44
CAMANCHE (3-0) — Julia Moore 7 3-4 17, Lindsey Grams 4 0-0 11, Courtney Sowle 5 0-0 10, Kylie Vogel 2 0-0 6, Jordan Nissen 3 0-0 6. Totals 21 3-4 50.
PRINCE OF PEACE (1-2) — Julia Isenhour 6 0-0 12, Megan Mulholland 5 0-2 10, Andrea Aquilani 3 0-2 7, Karli Atkinson 3 0-4 6, Maggie Schnier 2 0-0 4, Lauren Pittman 1 0-0 3, Aaliyah Chapman 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 0-8 44.
Camanche 17 13 11 9 — 50
Prince of Peace 10 10 11 3 — 44
3-point goals — Camanche 5 (Grams 3, Vogel 2), Prince of Peace 2 (Aquilani 1, Pittman 1). Total fouls — Camanche 8, Prince of Peace 10. Fouled out – None. Technicals – None.