Tolton girls basketball shows signs of progress in first win of the season – Columbia Daily Tribune

Posted: January 5, 2022 at 8:52 am

J Thomas Taylor| Columbia Daily Tribune

Tolton girls basketball sought some momentum entering the new year.

The Trailblazers got it last Wednesday, defeating Harrisburg 46-35 on the road to record their first victory of the 2021-22 season.

That might be the best game that I have watched this team play, said coach Sam Sexauer, who notched his first win as head coach. I wasn't the coach last year, but I watched this team play, and this game was the best defensive performance that they've had in probably two years. Moving the ball, moving well defensively.

I wish we moved a little bit better offensively sometimes, but ultimately, we played really great defense.

Senior Sophie Angel agreed with her coach on her teams play.

Our defense is what made us stand out. I think we rotated well and caused a lot of turnovers for them, Angel said. We got steals and pushed the ball up the floor. We have some bigs down low who do some work for us. Everyone plays their part.

Angel led all scorers with 15 points, including three makes from3-point range, and hit key baskets on a bum ankle in the third quarter to keep Toltons lead.

Angel rolled her ankle about halfway through the quarter but fought through the pain.

The first thing (Angel) brings is leadership. She leads by example. She's got the personality trait; that's one of the reasons she's going to be a collegiate athlete, Sexauer said. She has toughness. … She didn't want to come out of that game. She's just tough as nails. She's a great leader.

Once Tolton secured enough of a cushion, Sexauer pulled Angel to rest her ankle, but Harrisburg fought back and Sexauer relied on Angel to finish off the Bulldogs, hitting free throws in the final minutes to clinch the win.

Brooklyn Coolley and Ellie Reynolds added to the scoring with 12 and eight points, respectively.

I thought Brooklyn had her best game, Sexauer said. If Ellie played strong in the post, she was going to have some pretty good opportunities, and she played strong. She was probably the best defensive player that we had tonight.

Harrisburg junior Carli Ellis led the Bulldogs in scoring with 12 points, while Emma Fischer added eight in the losing effort.

Harrisburg fell to 5-5 on the season.

We knew their No. 1 (Ellis) was one of their better players and that she plays a pretty good post, Sexauer said. But we have to be strong and straight up on defense on the backside, and Ellie was that backside most of the night. She did a phenomenal job.

The win moved Tolton to 1-6 this season. Sexauer knows there remains plenty of room for improvement to navigate a tough schedule in January.

If we can get into an offense, we run it really well. I see it in practice all the time. Sexauer said. We have a young team. We have four seniors that play a lot, but also three freshmen that get ample playing time, a couple of sophomores and a junior, so just trying to build their confidence up.

I think this will help a ton, help to build the confidence and know that they can compete.

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Tolton girls basketball shows signs of progress in first win of the season - Columbia Daily Tribune

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