The Cannon Falls girls basketball team never trailed Saturday against Zumbrota-Mazeppa, winning a close matchup, 47-44.
The Bombers started off playing well, scoring the first six points of the game, and even holding a 14 point lead with six minutes left in the first half.
Bombers Coach Steven Strauss said she was impressed by his team’s defensive prowess throughout the game, but especially in the first half.
“I always tell the girls, [if] you want to play, you have to play defense,” Strauss said. “And they buy into that.”
A few impressive defensive scenarios came from Bombers Junior Breanna Robinson was all over the court, at one point moving from one side of the court to the other to tip a pass out of bounds.
Bombers Junior Jaci Winchell, after missing a shot, immediately played strong defense against the Cougars, forcing a turnover and a Bomber offensive possession.
The second half became tighter, as the Cougars began scoring more efficiently.
Quality free throw shooting and bad fouls by the Cougars kept the Bombers lead intact.
The Bombers went 11-24 from the free throw line, while the Cougars went 6-11.
Bombers Senior Belle Freeberg led the team in scoring with 21 points, a game high. Strauss said Freeberg is one of the best players the Bombers have, a quality ball handler who can get a shot at any time, but also works well off the ball.
“The defense on the other team has to close out on her,” Strauss said. “They have to double her, sometimes. They have to help and that opens things up for other people too.”
Bombers Sophomore Taylor Johnson was second in the team in scoring with 12 points.
The scoring combination of Freeberg and Johnson helped push the Bombers lead to 14 points in the first half and kept them competitive throughout the game.
Strauss said he’s seeing confidence grow in his team. With back-to-back wins, Strauss hopes they build off that momentum against the Cougars when they play on Tuesday.
“They did an awesome job today and I’m really proud of them," Strauss said.