Eddies rout Paw Paw 60-11

Published 8:27 am Friday, March 2, 2018

PAW PAW — Edwardsburg staged a defensive clinic Wednesday night in a 60-11 Class B girls basketball district semifinal victory against Paw Paw.

And now a long-awaited rematch is officially set.

With the win, the Eddies set up a championship showdown against Three Rivers, the team to which it lost the district title game last year in Edwardsburg.

“We’re excited that we get to play them,” Edwardsburg coach Jon Pobuda said about the rematch with Three Rivers. “Last year, we had a great year and they came to our place and beat us for the championship, so they have the district trophy at their place right now.

“Friday is going to be exciting for both teams. We beat them twice during the season. They want to beat us, but they have the district championship from last year, so we want to beat them (again). It will be two good teams going at each other.”

Wednesday, the Eddies needed precious little time to establish control.

Edwardsburg’s pressure defense forced Paw Paw into 10 first-quarter turnovers and the Eddies led 22-2 after eight minutes had elapsed.

“We had a lot of good things going,” Pobuda added. “We started in with our pressure defense and we were able to get to them early. We switched some things up and did some things differently and caused some problems for them.”

Edwardsburg (20-1) extended its lead to 29-6 by halftime, and Paw Paw went 4 minutes, 37 seconds in the second quarter before it was able to score its first points.

Pobuda encouraged his team at halftime to maintain its intensity, and the Eddies heeded the advice of their coach by outscoring Paw Paw 24-2 during the third quarter to invoke a running scoreboard clock with 2:56 remaining in the stanza.

“We still missed a lot of lay ups and had opportunities to score more points in the second half,” Pobuda said. “We had a lot of turnovers, which kind of slowed us down. We were in a rhythm. I gave some girls some breathers, and we kind of got out of rhythm. We talked at halftime about doing what we do: Take care of the basketball and then come out and put it away. We did a nice job with that.”

Sophomore Abbey Krugh paced a balanced scoring attack for Edwardsburg with a game-high 15 points, including three baskets from behind the 3-point arc. Junior Kaitlyn Zarycki added 14 points for Edwardsburg, while teammates Erzsbet Widman and Alexa Markel finished with 10 and nine points, respectively.

Edwardsburg shot 39 percent from the field (22 of 57) and outrebounded Paw Paw by a lopsided, 50-28 margin. Sophomore Claire Bartz grabbed a game-high 12 caroms for Edwardsburg, while junior Bailey Anson collected nine rebounds.

Paw Paw got team-highs of six points and six rebounds from senior Emma Johnson.

The Lady Redskins shot an ice-cold 9.5 percent from the field (4 of 42) and committed 26 turnovers.

“They are an excellent team,” Paw Paw coach Gary Mitchell said about Edwardsburg. “The first time we played them we played our best two quarters of the whole season.

“Of course, when you don’t put the ball in the basket you’re going to get behind quickly against a team like that. They are very well-coached and they play defense well. We just have to get better.”