BREESE — On a night when the Central Cougars were hitting on all cylinders, the Mater Dei Knights simply had little response on Monday in an early season showdown of Clinton County powers.
The inside-outside duo of Kendra Wilken and Torre Kohrmann combined for 31 points and the Cougars defense held the Knights in check as Central went on for a lopsided 53-30 win.
One of the state's top sophomore post players Wilken scored 18 points -- 10 coming in the first half, while Kohrmann helped the Cougars (7-0) break the game open with two of her four 3-point baskets early in the third quarter.
Leading 20-11 at halftime, Central outscored the Knights 19-8 in the third period.
Kohrmann, who finished with 13 points, along with Sophie Rickhoff, combined to hit three 3-point shots in four possessions as Central blew the game open.
"It's not that we weren't getting good shots in the first half. It was just a matter of relaxing and just concentrating. In the third quarter we did that,'' Central coach Nathan Rueter said.
"Defensively, we wanted to disrupt the flow of what they (Mater Dei) wanted to do. We felt that if we could do that then we could dictate the tempo of the game.
The Cougars' third quarter scoring binge gave them a 39-19 lead. Mater Dei would get no closer than 16 points the rest of the night.
Playing with five new starter from a team which reached the Class 3A supersectional a year ago, Mater Dei managed to stay with the Class 2A state power Cougars for a half.
But when Kohrmann heated up in the second half and the 6-1 Wilken was controlling the post area, the Knights had little response.
"I liked our effort tonight. I think anybody who can stay with Central with a half is doing something right because they are hitting on all cylinders right now,'' Knights coach David Kohnen said. "Honestly, I thought this was the best we looked all year''
Lauren Donnewald led Mater Dei with eight points.
The story of the first half was the Cougars defense. Forcing 11 Mater Dei turnovers -- including six in the second quarter, Central seized control with a 9-2 scoring run as it grabbed a 20-11 lead at halftime.
Mater Dei (3-3), getting six points from 5-10 junior Lauren Donnewald, trailed just 11-9 after one period.
But when senior Torre Kohrmann hit a 3-point jumper to start the second period, Central was off and running.
Wilken, double- and triple-teamed by a collapsing Knights defense every time she touched the ball in the post, still managed to score four points and finished with 10 points in the first half.
Maddie Timmermann added an offensive putback, but it was Wilken and Kohrmann who tallied 16 of Central's 20 points.