ASHLAND—No. 4 Fremont Bergan found their legs late, erasing a double-digit, second-half deficit to beat Ashland-Greenwood 42-35 in the opening round of the 25th annual Ashland-Greenwood Holiday Tournament Wednesday.
“Our defense in the second half set the tone for our ability to score the ball a lot better on the offensive end,” Bergan coach Nate Pribnow said. “We were scrappier.”
The Lady Knights went into the second half down eight, 21-13, after a sluggish opening 16 minutes and trailed by as many as 11 for before making a late run to cut the deficit to one.
Bergan outscored Ashland-Greenwood 12-5 in the third quarter with eight points coming from Lauren Baker.
Summer Bojanksi cashed in her only points of the night to start the fourth quarter, knocking down a 3-pointer to push Bergan in front 28-25.
The freshman’s triple started a barrage of shots to fall from range for the Lady Knights with a pair of Lauren Baker three’s sandwiching a triple from Rebecca Baker.
The second 3-pointer from Lauren Baker extended Bergan’s lead out to 39-33 with 1:23 left.
“(Lauren) was kind of unconscious there for a little bit,” Pribnow said.
The Lady Knights’ prolonged defensive pressure finally got to Ashland-Greenwood’s guards.
“It may not work great in the first quarter, it may not work great in the second quarter or the third quarter, but by the time the fourth quarter has rolled around we’ve worn on their guards enough that we were able to get some things going,” Pribnow said.
Pribnow highlighted Bojanski’s defensive efforts in harassing Ashland-Greenwood’s guards as a key to the comeback.
Lauren Baker finished with a team-high 21 points with 17 coming in the second half including four of Bergan’s seven 3-pointers for the day.
“None of them were at a juncture where she felt the need to create something,” Pribnow said on the senior’s 3-poiners. “It just kind of happened naturally.”
Bergan struggled in the opening quarter, getting doubled up 12-6 after the first eight minutes as the Lady Knights struggled to adjust to the Bluejays’ zone defense.
“We haven’t seen a whole lot of zone this year,” Pribnow said. “I think it was more us standing around against it than anything they were doing.”
Ashland-Greenwood’s zone and the Bluejays’ knack for breaking the Bergan press allowed the tournament host to amass a lead as large as 11 points before the Lady Knights cut it to eight at the intermission.
Rebecca Baker was Bergan’s second-leading scorer with eight points and Kaitlyn Mlranik chipped in five points.