Blue Ridge Girls Basketball Advances to Fisher Regional Semifinals with 61-20 Win over Buckley Christ Lutheran
FISHER, Ill. -- Despite spending significant minutes on the bench, Jacquelyn O'Neal and Melinda Wilson each achieved a double-double on Monday.
O'Neal scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Wilson had a more unconventional double-double, tallying 16 points and stole the ball 10 times.
Thanks in part to the performance of their star duo, the No. 4-seeded Lady Knights achieved a 61-20 victory in the Fisher Regional quarterfinals over No. 5 Buckley Christ Lutheran.
"They're good," Blue Ridge coach Stephanie Schroeder said. "They're my ones that are going to lead them on there, so they did exactly what I asked them to do and what they should have done."
With Blue Ridge leading 20-5 after the first quarter, Schroeder could afford to give O'Neal and Wilson some spurts on the bench during the next three quarters to avoid injury and give them rest.
They would need their rest, as the Lady Knights (13-16) will face No. 1-seeded LeRoy the next night at 6 p.m.
"I didn't want to get them hurt before tomorrow. I sat them as much as they can allow. They're a little antsy on the sidelines," Schroeder said. "They did good."
Wilson and Gabby Pearl each scored six points to help Blue Ridge gain its 20-5 first-quarter lead. The Lady Knights opened the game with 13 unanswered points.
The Crusaders got their first points of the game with 3:06 left in the first quarter, when an Olivia Janssen field goal cut Blue Ridge's lead to 13-2.
In the first quarter, the Lady Knights held BCL to 2-for-11 shooting from the field. The Crusaders were held to a total of two points in the second quarter on 1-for-10 shooting.
Meanwhile, Blue Ridge scored 11 points in the second quarter -- six from O'Neal and five from Bailey Clancy -- to go into halftime leading 31-7.
"They did good tonight," Schroeder said. "I told them to come out strong. [We had to] maintain discipline for ourselves. We hadn't faced a team where we had move at a slow pace, so it was hard for us to not want to just keep going and set some moving screens because we're just thinking too hard and going too fast for what it really was. We got the win that we knew we should get. Tomorrow night's going to be the complete opposite."
In the third quarter, Wilson got things started with one of her 10 steals, which created a fastbreak layup opportunity for her that increased the Lady Knights' lead to 33-7. Wilson scored eight of her 16 points in the third quarter, as Blue Ridge outscored BCL 14-7 in the quarter to take a 45-14 lead.
In the fourth quarter, the Lady Knights took a 16-6 advantage. Six of Blue Ridge's points were scored by O'Neal, and four by Pearl.
Pearl finished the game scoring in double figures with 12 points. She also grabbed six rebounds.
"She did really good," Schroeder said. "She was getting rebounds; she's tall. She needs to be putting up points like that for me every game, so [I'm] getting her built up for the future. She's only a freshman. She's still got a ways to go, so [this is a] good experience for her."
Jamison Brandt had a solid day on the boards as well, finishing the game with seven rebounds. She also stole the ball six times and scored three points.
Wilson led her team in assists with six and blocked three shots. O'Neal also had one blocked shot.
For the Crusaders, Andrea DeBella led her team with nine points.