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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Lady Bronchos put out the fire in second half of win over Swartz Creek

Holly's Katie Ordiway driving to the basket in her team's 58-31 win over Swartz Creek Friday night. (For The Oakland Press/DALE SMITH)

SWARTZ CREEK - Coming into Holly’s game at Swartz Creek, the 3-0 Lady Bronchos had every reason to be confident of their chances against the Dragons. They used that confidence and some third quarter fire of their own to down Swartz Creek, 58-31.

Holly led 25-16 at the half. It was fortunate to have that nine point lead at the intermission as it struggled at the free throw line, missing their first four attempts. But, an inbounds pass and easy layup at the buzzer by Allyssa Copley to end the second quarter seemed to catapult the Bronchos to a devastating show [for the home fans] after the half. Holly outscored Creek 25-4 in third quarter to turn this one into a rout.

As has been a problem for her in the past, Copley got in some early foul trouble. In past years, this often spelled big trouble for the Bronchos as they struggled mightily when their star center was sidelined. Not tonight.

Keyed by big games from sophomore Kaitlyn Smith and junior Brooke Jackman, Holly never blinked with Copley on the bench and continued to maintain control throughout. Smith led Holly with 17 points and Jackman had 9. Smith had five three-pointers. She hit two of those early in third as the Bronchos opened the second half with a 7-0 run to lead 32-16. They pushed that margin to 46-20 with a little over a minute left in third. The Dragons were done.

“We definitely came together tonight as team and we played hard,” said Smith. The shy sophomore was reluctant to take much credit for this win, but her “long bombs” certainly helped a great deal in putting away Swartz Creek.

Holly coach David Hall was pleased with his teams’ effort. “We are not going to win them all but we will fight you right to the end,” he said. “[Our girls] just want to win and they will do whatever it takes to win.”

Last year, Jackman primarily came off the bench. In this game, she started and make it count. The Holly junior had nine points, six rebounds and a steal. She also offered a steady hand when Copley was not on the floor.

Jackman agreed that the Holly depth has been a big factor in the early season success but she also said that the Bronchos had a lot “composure this year. We know each other well. Allyssa [Copley] is not going to be here next year so we really need to work on that.”

Holly opened with a five point win over perennial power Hartland. It followed up with blowout wins versus White Lake Lakeland and Flint Kearsley. It then beats Swartz Creek by 27, on the road yet. Hall maybe right in saying Holly won’t win all of its game this year. But at least as far as the regular season of 20 games, it could.

“[Our depth] takes a lot of pressure off me,” said Copley. “They can’t double and triple team us down low anymore.”

Hall said, “[Our girls] know their roles and they play their roles. So does Allyssa [Copley]. She just wants to be part of the game and not be the game. It’s fun to play with kids like that.”

Holly senior Abby Lewandoski played her usual, solid game. She added eight points to Copley’s 10.

The undefeated Bronchos take their 4-0 record with them to Lapeer East at Tuesday and then close out 2013 with a road game at Brandon.

Last Updated: 12/14/2013 12:45:14 PM EST

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