SHEFFIELD — Vermilion turned Brookside inside out in a 64-42 non-conference victory Monday night.
Junior Clara Smith entered the night with six 3-pointers on the year and nearly doubled that by hitting five from behind the arc on her way to a career-high 20 points.
With Smith raining threes, the middle opened up for Maddie Colahan, who doubled her season averages in points (16) and rebounding (16). She came in averaging seven points and eight rebounds per game.
“Our thinking coming into the season has been that if we could get that inside-outside game going between the two of them and have the other girls cleaning up,” Sailors coach Yvonne Craigo said. “We thought that would be the key to our success and tonight is the first time we put it all together.”
The Cardinals got a taste of what was to come as Vermilion scored the first nine points on six free throws from Colahan and Smith’s first long-distance shot.
“That quick start got the jitters out of the way quickly and we played a lot smarter tonight,” Colahan said. “We handled the pressure well tonight and we did a great job controlling around the basket.”
Brookside (4-3) was unfazed, though, scoring the next eight points to finish the first quarter down by a point.
Ellexis Tracy came off the bench and scored all six of her points to go with a Hanna Begany layup off a Tracy steal to get the Cardinals back in the game.
The Sailors got early 3-pointers from Marianna Plas and Smith to push the lead to double digits at 21-10, but the Cardinals made another run, getting 3-pointers from Sarah Torres and Jelene Williams. Still, the Sailors answered again with their own set of threes, Smith’s third and, one from Hallie Habermehl, for a 31-20 halftime advantage.
“We’ve been good all year long in the halfcourt, making people take tough shots and we would out-rebound them,” Brookside coach Brad Barhorst said. “When they are making all their shots, there are no rebounds to get. It was a rough night for us.”
A rough end to the first half led to an even rougher third quarter as Vermilion’s lead ballooned to 21 points late in the period with Smith hitting her last two threes and a long jumper.
“I think we really moved the ball a lot better than we had been doing so far this year,” Smith said. “We were all on the same page, played better as a team, moved faster together. We’ve seen it at times this year, but we put it all together tonight.”
“We’ve been waiting for that game when someone would start hitting shots from the outside,” Craigo said. “We knew once we got someone started, it would take off for the team.
“We knew Clara was capable of that. We see her in practice every day. It hasn’t come to fruition for her with the shots just not falling for her. Once she hit a couple, she just took it to them.”
Vermilion 64, Brookside 42
VERMILION (64): Corah Peterson 0-0-0, Marianna Plas 3-0-7, Hallie Habermehl 3-2-9, Clara Smith 6-3-20, Grace Keller 0-0-0, Erin Conner 0-0-0, Morgan Potts 1-1-3, Claudia Wilson 2-1-5, McKinley Shreve 2-0-4, Maddie Colahan 5-6-16. Totals 22-13-64.
BROOKSIDE (42): Jenna Rothman 3-0-6, Sarah Torres 2-0-6, Tori-Ann Aliff 1-0-2, Ashley Wallace 3-0-6, Myra Richter 0-3-3, Ellexis Tracy 2-2-6, Shyanne Shinsky 0-1-1, Hanna Begany 2-0-5, Jelene Williams 2-2-7, Lauren Verlato. Totals 15-8-42.
Vermilion 9 22 20 13 - 64
Brookside 8 12 12 10 - 42
Three-point goals: Vermilion 7-16 (44 percent, Smith 5, Plas, Habermehl); Brookside 4-15 (27 percent, Torres 2, Begany, Williams).
Field goals: Vermilion 22-62 (35 percent); Brookside 15-53 (28 percent).
Free throws: Vermilion 13-25 (52 percent); Brookside 8-13 (62 percent).
Rebounds: Vermilion 49, Brookside 38
Turnovers: Vermilion 15, Brookside 24
Fouled Out: Plas
JV – Brookside, 24-10