By HO HOFFMAN
Special to The Gazette
WESTFIELD TWP â€” The expected battle between Cloverleafâ€™s Brooke Forsythe and Copleyâ€™s Beth Mantkowski never developed, as the Indians pounded the Colts 61-32 Wednesday night in Suburban League girls basketball action.
Forsythe, hampered by early foul trouble, spent most of the evening on the bench and was limited to eight points and 10 rebounds.
With Forsythe sitting, the 6-foot-2 Mantkowski was unstoppable, scoring 23 points and collecting 11 rebounds.
â€œWith Forsythe sitting there really wasnâ€™t anybody to match up against me inside,â€ the Ashland College signee said. â€œ I just posted down low and my teammates lobbed the ball down to me or I was able to rebound baskets pretty easily.â€
Mantkowski also had a sour memory of last yearâ€™s contest when the Colts (3-2, 0-2) held her to her only single-digit scoring game.
â€œThat game left a bad taste in my mouth and I was really disappointed at my play,â€ Mantkowski said. â€œI was anxious to get back here and try and redeem myself.â€
Mantkowski wasnâ€™t the Coltsâ€™ only problem. A major problem was themselves. Either the game was too fast for Cloverleaf or the Colts were tired from Tuesday nightâ€™s game against Buckeye.
Whatever the reason, Cloverleaf not only had more turnovers than baskets (30 to 12) but almost as many as the 40 shots it took.
â€œI donâ€™t want to use back-to-back games as an excuse,â€ Colts coach John Carmigiano said. â€œWe just were out of control after we fell behind early and tried to get it back all at once. We just kept making mistake after mistake.â€
Cloverleaf was in the game at 11-9 before Forsythe picked up her second foul with two minutes left in the first quarter. When she returned with 7:15 to play in the second quarter, the score was 20-9 and increased to 30-9 before the Colts scored again.
â€œWhen their big girl went out, we wanted to pound the ball down inside on offense,â€ Copley coach Steve Coon said. â€œOn offense they also lost their main option and we turned up the pressure on their perimeter people. They just got rattled.â€
The Indians (3-1, 2-0) pushed the lead to 53-21 early in the fourth period before unloading the bench and sitting the starters, including Mantkowski for the final eight minutes.
â€œI think maybe our early season schedule helps us,â€ Coon said. â€œWeâ€™ve had some tough teams to play in Regina and Hudson, while Cloverleaf was playing Buckeye and Oberlin. They werenâ€™t quite ready for our speed and pressure, but they do have a good team. We just caught them by surprise.â€
Hoffman may be reached at email@example.com.