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Himmelreich ‘drives’ BHS girls past Halls
Junior post hits 12-of-12 free throws; Bearden succeeding with depth

Getting out of a recent jump shot rut by her own admission, takin’ it to the hoop paid off handsomely for Sarah Himmelreich Monday afternoon.

The 6-foot post scored a game-high 24 points in leading the Bearden Lady Bulldogs to a 52-43 win against Halls in the opening round of the Bearden Super 16 Tournament Dec. 27 at BHS.

But it was Himmelreich’s ability to drive inside and draw fouls that paid off most handsomely, as the standout junior earned 12 free throws — making all 12.

Saying she needs to shoot less from the outside and continue driving to the basket, “I think that will improve my game a whole lot,” Himmelreich said. “To make things happen.”

As for Monday’s perfection at the foul line, “We just do a ton of free throws in practice,” Himmelreich said. “Like that’s (head coach Jennifer Allen’s) main thing. Like we shoot free throws all the time. If we miss, we run.

“I think I’m shooting them this year better than last year,” Himmelreich added, “just because I work out at Fort Sanders (Heath & Fitness Center) a lot, and one of their main things is free throws, free throws, free throws.”

Allen added, “I think Sarah played real well today. She did a good job taking the ball to the hoop and getting to the free throw line. Take the ball to the hoop, good things happen.”

While Halls’ record dropped to 4-7, Bearden improved to 9-3 overall heading into Tuesday’s second round Super 16 game against Daniel Boone.

Overcoming a 12-8 first quarter deficit by slowly but surely tightening its defense, Bearden went on a 9-0 run to grab the lead for good ending with Ashley Blue’s rebound basket for a 17-12 lead with 5:07 left in the first half.

Holding the Lady Red Devils to six second quarter points, the Lady ’Dawgs pulled ahead 28-18 at halftime led by Himmelreich’s eight points in the second quarter.

Bearden led by as many as 14 in the third quarter and 15 points in the fourth quarter.

Blue, Kelly Kohlbusch and Amity Mulvey each scored six points for Bearden followed by Allysia Bailey and Kristen Osterman with five apiece. Makenzie Loy led Halls with 13 points, followed by 12 from Patricia Loe.

Allen explained how her team has already been able to surpass last year’s entire win total.

“Experience, and they’ve learned how to win,” the coach said. “We lost a lot of games nine to five points last year, and they’ve just come on.

“Our turnovers are way down this year.”

It’s also a matter of numbers.

“I think one of our reasons for success is we’ve had a lot of people to play well,” Allen said, adding that unlike last year when Bearden had to “lean on” Himmelreich and Blue for most of Bearden’s scoring, “we’re a lot more of a team.”

Defensively for BHS, “Kristin Osterman’s been really strong for us,” Allen said. “She and Jennifer Walker are two of our best defensive players. They’re both really go-getters and they hustle a lot, and they make some good things happen for us.”

Does Bearden have enough outside shooting to keep its good fortune going? “We work on that, but it can be a weakness,” Allen said. “Some nights we can fill it up, other nights we can’t throw it in the ocean. We have to be more consistent.”

Allen said Himmelreich, Nicole Austin and Osterman are the team’s top perimeter scoring threats. “Kristen’s hit several big shots for us this year,” she said.

“Kelly and Allysia are more on-the-move shooters, taking it to the hoop.”


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