It was a mismatch on paper heading into the Sandusky Bay Conference Lake Division game. It was on the court as well as the Bellevue Lady Red improved to 11-1 (5-0) with Tuesday’s 73-24 win over the Truckers at Bellevue High School.
The win marked the 100th in Bellevue coach Kory Santoro’s career.
“Tonight, I thought we did what we needed to do,” Santoro said. “I know that Norwalk has struggled a bit this year, but you know, Norwalk has had a lot of success the last several years and we have to treat every game like it is a championship game. So, I thought that the girls came out and did what they had to do tonight.
“We have had a lot of success over the last few years and we know we are going to get the other teams best shot every game, and we tell the girls to treat it like a championship game,” he added. “I think I am pretty knowledgeable, and you win with good players. We have been really fortunate to get a lot of really talented girls here and I am just glad to be a part of it. It’s pretty special to have my two daughters (Casey, Cory) along with me to be a part of it and my oldest daughter (Carly) was a part of my first 24 wins.”
Bellevue — ranked No. 4 in the initial Division II Associated Press state poll — scored the final 13 points in the first quarter and the first five in the second quarter to open up a 28-4 lead over the Truckers (1-7, 1-4) and they never looked back.
Casey Santoro who entered the game leading the SBC in scoring with 23.3 points per game scored a game-high 19 points and Cory Santoro, averages 18.3 points added 16 points. Bellevue also got 12 points from four-year player Payton Vogel.
“I am really happy for him,” Casey Santoro said. “I think it is awesome that my older sister Carly, she started helping out with the win process. And then in between when there was none of us on the team, it was awesome to just be there and to help contribute to his wins.
“We are really close at home, too, and with him being our coach it just creates a competitive drive with me, Cory and my dad,” she added. “It’s just always something.”
Norwalk struggled throughout the night on both ends of the court. There were too many turnovers as the Truckers struggled with the pressure defense that the Lady Red dialed up from beginning to end.
Mascie Horner led Norwalk in scoring with eight points and Elena Barber threw in another six points in support.
“They aren’t state-ranked for no reason,” Norwalk assistant coach Jen Swartz said. “I thought we struggled with their pressure, especially early on. They are a great team and are well-coached.
“I was proud of my girls tonight,” she added. “I thought that they played hard all game long and never quit. I think that they got better with the press and things like that as the game went on. We are just young and growing, but they are getting better each time out.”
Skylarr Story added five rebounds, Shyanne Moser grabbed four, and Lana Oglesby had three assists for Norwalk.
Both teams remain in league action on Saturday. Norwalk travels to Tiffin Columbian, and Bellevue visits Sandusky.
NORWALK (1-7, 1-4)
Mascie Horner 3-0—8; Lana Oglesby 0-1—1; Elena Barber 2-2—6; Janel Jubak 1-0—2; Paige Maurer 1-0—3; Shyanne Moser 1-0—2; Skylarr Story 1-0—2. TOTALS 9-3—24.
BELLEVUE (10-1, 5-0)
Cory Santoro 7-0—16; Gabby Turner 3-2—9; Payton Vogel 3-3—12; Casey Santoro 7-3—19; McKenna Davis 2-4—8; Destiny Carter 2-0—4; Alex Fiske 1-1—3; Riley Mohr 1-0—2.TOTALS 26-13—73.
Norwalk 4 7 4 9 — 24
Bellevue 23 22 16 12 — 73
3-point FGs: (N) Horner 2, Maurer; (B) (Vogel 3, Co. Santoro 2, Ca. Santoro 2, Turner.
JV: Bellevue won 43-20