CASSTOWN — Miami East girls basketball coach Bruce Vanover understood what he was up against in the opening weekend of basketball, starting with a home game with Fort Loramie Friday night,
But, he also understands for the Lady Vikings to get where they want to go, it is exactly the type of challenges they need.
Fort Loramie proved to be exactly what was expected — one of the top D-IV teams in the state as they are year=in and year-out — as they opened a big lead early and went on to win 62-21.
“We knew what Fort Loramie was,” Vanover said. “But, you don’t get better by not playing these teams. You have to play these type of teams to get better.”
And for Miami East, whose roster is a good mix of youth and experience — it was a good chance to get talented freshman Abigail Kadel, Lindi Snodgrass, Logan Phillips, Maryn Gross and Camryn Francis their first taste of varsity action.
“We feel really good about our young players,” Vanover said. “We feel like they are very talented. Of course, they haven’t seen anyone like Fort Loramie before. And that is what this game did, got them some experience against that kind of talent. That is what they need.”
His veteran players were solid as well.
“That’s the thing about this team,” Vanover said. “Nobody is concerned about who is out there. Everyone roots for everyone. When we have success, everyone is excited.”
Rori Hunley was the only Viking to score in the first half, as Miami East got down 16-0 before a basket by Hunley and trailed 21-2, 31-4 and 45-12 at the quarter breaks.
Hunley added another basket early in the third quarter and Francis followed by hitting three straight jumpers.
“I thought we saw a lot of good things out there,” Vanover said. “I thought (Abigail) Kadel and (Lindi) Snodgrass both gave us some really good minutes at the guard position. We had some girls that weren’t here tonight and other girls stepped up.”
Francis led the East attack with eight points and Rori Hunley scored six, while Cadence Gross pulled down seven rebounds.
Dana Rose led Fort Loramie with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Kenzie Hoelscher added 16 points and six rebounds.
Caitlyn Gasson scored nine points and Corynn Heitkamp added seven.
Miami East was eight of 34 from the floor for 23 percent and five of eight from the line for 63 percent.
Loramie was 24 of 55 from the floor for 44 percent and 10 of 16 from the line for 63 percent.
The Redskins won the battle of the boards 35-22 and had 15 turnovers to the Vikings’ 26.
East will play at Mechanicsburg today.
“It isn’t going to get any easier,” Vanover said. “They are a talented team as well. Some of our major goals are to win the conference, win the sectional and win the district. Fort Loramie isn’t in our conference, they aren’t in our sectional and they aren’t in our district.”
But, as Vanover well knows, it is the type of game that can help East get to where they want to go.