Stepping up: No. 2 Brodhead takes down Division 1 La Follette
BRODHEAD--The Brodhead Cardinals clearly weren’t intimidated by playing up two divisions Monday night.
The No. 2-ranked Division 3 girls basketball team hosted Madison La Follette, a member of the Division 1 Big Eight Conference, and the Cardinals opened the game by scoring the first 14 points.
Seniors Carly Mohns, who scored a game-high 22 points, and Meg Duffield, who scored 14 of her 20 in Brodhead’s dominant first half, paved the way to a 57-41 victory that moved the Cardinals to 10-0.
“We were pretty excited for it,” Duffield said. “I’ve played with three of the girls in the summer, and they’re good. We knew they were a big school and a big team—tall, obviously—but we were ready to play.”
The Cardinals pride themselves on their stingy man-to-man defense, and it put the clamps on the Lancers in the early stages.
La Follette (5-6 overall) missed its first eight shots of the game, and Brodhead forced six turnovers as it jumped up 14-0 in the first seven minutes.
“We responded well, especially at the start,” Brodhead coach Brad Pickett said. “Defense is the first thing we do in practice.
“We did a nice job with weak-side help and rotating.”
At the other end, La Follette did its best to take Mohns—who will play Division I basketball at the University of Iowa next year—out of the Cardinals’ offensive attack.
Brodhead’s supporting cast responded with 25 of the team’s 33 first-half points. Duffield made three of her four 3-pointers in the opening 16 minutes, and the Cardinals led by as many as 20 points before the break.
“What some people don’t understand is they see Carly and they see the stats, and obviously she’s very, very good, but she’s got a great supporting cast,” Pickett said. “We’ve leaned on them a lot.”
Mohns bided her time and then took over in the third quarter with aggressive play down low.
When La Follette cut its deficit to 13 points two-and-a-half minutes into the half, the senior responded by drawing a foul to get to the free-throw line. She worked for an inside bucket on the Cardinals’ next trip down the floor and quickly the lead was back to 16 points.
The Lancers, led by Amelia Grahn’s 14 points but still playing without standout 6-footer Nicole Newman, never seriously threatened again as they shot just 24.4 percent from the field through the first three quarters.
“We always go back to our defense—good, man-to-man, help-side defense,” Duffield said. “We knew we had to box out and get out and go.”
It was a statement victory for a school with an enrollment of 323 students going up against one with 1,485.
“It’s a fun matchup,” Pickett said. “Carly plays a lot of AAU with some of those kids, and they were looking forward to it. It’s a great game for us to have. Hopefully they feel the same way and we can continue it.”