The Lebanon Greyhounds had not faced many speed bumps en route to a 15-0 start to their season.
But they ran into one during the second quarter of Friday’s championship game of the Lebanon Christmas Tournament against the Freeburg Midgets.
Senior All-State guard Kendra Bass was already on the bench with two fouls when her twin sister, Krista Bass, was whistled for her second foul with 6:17 left in the first half and the Greyhounds leading 11-7.
How did the Greyhounds respond without their two primary ballhandlers?
Lebanon (16-0) outscored the Midgets 15-4 over the remainder of the first half and remained in command the rest of the way in what turned into a 51-38 victory.
“We have not faced many situations like that this season,” said Greyhounds coach Chad Cruthis, whose team was ranked No. 3 in the latest Associated Press Class 1A poll. “It speaks volumes for (Emily) Rennick, Maddy (Madison Schoenfeld) and Abigail Rennick to kind of look at that time and take over.
“We could have easily fell apart, and there were a couple of sequences where it got a little hairy and I thought we might have to sub them back in. But the girls fought through it.”
Emily Rennick and Schoenfeld had six points apiece during that key stretch for Lebanon. Freshmen Katie Fertig and Alex Hearty also provided key minutes while the Bass sisters were off the court.
With the win, Lebanon earned the title of its own holiday tournament for the third consecutive season.
“It means a lot to be able to win this three times with this group of girls,” said Rennick. “We’re like family. It’s been amazing to play with them.”
Freeburg never led and only once trailed by single digits in the second half.
That came at 27-18 just inside the midway mark of the third quarter. Lebanon followed with an 14-4 run to end the period.
Freeburg coach Lori Crunk felt her team’s inability to score in close helped define the game.
The Midgets only got a combined eight points from their frontcourt players, who were a combined 4 of 10 from the field.
“If you can’t make a shot from two or three feet from the basket, you’re not going to win many games,” said Crunk, whose team dipped to 8-4. “But it (the outcome) was much worse the first time we played them. I thought we played much better this game.”
In a Dec. 11 meeting in Lebanon, the Greyhounds jumped out to a 17-0 lead after one quarter on the way to a 44-27 win.
Lebanon’s Emily Rennick, who scored her team’s first seven points to help the Greyhounds lead 9-5 after a quarter, topped all scorers with 16 points. Schoenfeld finished with a double-double, grabbing 12 rebounds to go with 14 points.
Kendra Bass and Abigail Rennick both scored nine points.
Kayla Mueller’s 14 points paced Freeburg.
Rennick, Krista Bass and Schoenfeld were all named to the all-tournament team. Mueller and Abby Mirly made it for the Midgets.
Greenville 57, Carlyle 18
Greenville (11-5) bolted to an 18-3 lead after a quarter and was never threatened in the third-place game.
Kali Michael topped Carlyle (11-7) with six points. Greenville’s Ally Cantrill led all scorers with 11.
Columbia 41, Christ Our Rock Lutheran 36
Sophia Bonaldi scored a game-high 25 points to lead the Eagles to a fifth-place-game win over the Stallions.
Columbia (10-6) trailed 26-25 after three quarters but outscored Christ Our Rock 16-10 in the final eight minutes.
Georgia Agen paced Christ Our Rock with 17 points.
Red Bud 51, Wesclin 40
The Musketeers outscored the Warriors 21-3 in the second quarter to grab a 27-10 halftime lead in the seventh-place game.
Sophie Richards led three Red Bud (14-5) players into double digits with a game-high 22 points.
Sophia Koesterer and Laura Juelfs added 16 and 10, respectively, for the Musketeers.
Jenna Haselhorst topped Wesclin (5-12) with eight points.