Injuries and a few missing faces on the La Center sideline turned a rematch of a close loss last year into a blowout this time around for the Adna girls basketball team, but the Pirates were happy to get their season in winning fashion, drubbing the Wildcats 70-12 on Wednesday.
And while there were some returning faces leading the way for Chris Bannish’s squad, there was a whole lot of new joining in.
Sophomores Gaby Guard, Danika Hallom, and Kendall Humphrey, fresh off a fifth-place finish at the 2B state volleyball tournament, stepped into the spotlight for the Pirates and shone, joining a perimeter rotation with Brooklyn and Natalie Loose.
“They put in the work over the summer and played more basketball than any team I’ve ever had, and it showed today,” Bannish said. It was great today for me to watch those freshmen last year grow into being sophomores. They’ve taken the reins and showed that we don’t want to have any dropoff this year.”
Guard made the biggest splash of the sophomores in the scoring column, matching Brooklyn Loose — a first-team all-Central 2B League guard last season — with 20 points to beat the Wildcats by herself. Both hit five 3-pointers; the Pirates hit 13 as a team, at a 43% clip.
“It’s something that kind of came out last year,” Bannish said. “Gaby was on JV and shooting the lights out, but she’s put a lot of time into her shot. Those two have some of the quickest releases that I’ve ever had. Just watching them shoot the ball, it’s nice to see.”
Hallom, meanwhile, dished out a team-high six assists to go along with eight points.
In the post, Karlee VonMoss had eight points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Adna held La Center — which Bannish said was down its top player due to injury — to fewer than six points in all four quarters. The Pirates came out pressing, but called it back after taking a 47-8 lead in the halftime.
“Early on, they couldn’t handle our pressure, which was good,” Bannish said.
But even after Adna started sitting back, the defense kept the clamps on, with just four points allowed after halftime.
Adna will stay up the classification ladder for another matchup with a 1A side, hosting Elma on Friday.