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Wednesday May 22, 2024
Braves Roll Past Gladwin In Regional Semifinals

GAYLORD---The Gladstone Braves got off to a good start Tuesday night and kept on rolling throughout the game, turning back the Gladwin Flying G's, 72-44, in the Class B regional semifinals in Gaylord.

Jammie Botruff scored eight of her game-high 24 points in the first quarter, and Erin Boddy also scored eight points in that first quarter as the Braves built a 17-7 lead. The lead grew to 39-17 at the half, and 51-19 in the third quarter, and the girls were on cruise control from there.

"I thought the girls did what they do best," Gladstone Coach Karl Dollhopf said. "They did a great job of sharing the ball, and we knew that if we got after it on defense, that we'd get some seperation (in the score)."

The girls were playing a team they had never seen before, but Botruff said that she had no problem getting prepared to face the Flying G's from the central part of the Lower Peninsula.

"I personally like it more," Botruff said. "You don't know anything about them, they don't know anything about you. They don't know your tendacies. When you play Esky or Kingsford, they know every single play we're calling. I mean, sometime, our coach and their coach are calling the same plays!"

Gladwin (11-12) couldn't keep up with the pace that was set by the Braves at both ends of the court. Defensively, Whitney Wells and Courtney Nevala were pests, as usual. And offensively, the girls were on the same page all night, especially with their bounce passes underneath.

"I credit my teammates for their great passing," Botruff said. "I got seperation in the post, and they saw that, and it was just some great passes. We've been playing together since the fourth grade and we just want to keep it going."

"When you do that, everyone gets in on the fun, and the opponents can't focus in on just one person," Dollhopf said. "And on defense, we forced them into situations where they (Gladwin) were turning the ball over."

Botruff may have led the way with 24 points, but Boddy also gave the Flying G's fits. Boddy missed a couple of early three-pointe attemts, but she kept on firing away, and was nothing-but-net on her last two attempts from behind the arch.

"Erin doesn't know how good of a shooter she is," Dollhopf said. "She, sometimes, is really unselfish, and doesn't have the room to get the shot off. But she is an excellent shooter."

Nevala, known best for her defense, found her offensive stroke in the second half. She scored ten points, including a pair of three-pointers. And Katie Becker scored three baskets in the third quarter as the Braves put the game away. Megan Strait led Gladwin with 18 points.

"Jammie did a nice job of scoring early on, and finishing her baskets," Dollhopf said. "Courtney came in and did a great job running the team."

Gladstone (23-1) will try to defend its regional championship this Thursday with a game against Ludington team. The Orioles are also 23-1 this yera, after whipping Cheboygan, 70-39, Tuesday night.

"Watching Ludington, they're a lot like us," Dollhopf said. "They're well coached, and they get after it pretty good. I expect that it will be a real good game, a real good match-up. They're a quality team."

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