Many of the names on the floor were different.
Micah Jones and Ava Paruleski were the only regulars from last year’s Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City state runner-up run to take the court Monday.
And the Hornets even had a new look on the sideline, as longtime assistant coach Larry Young was subbing for CHBC head coach Carolyn Wendte, who was unable to attend the Hornets’ season-opener against South Central due to a back injury.
But the results were very familiar, as CHBC dominated in a 50-14 win at Cowden-Herrick High School.
Jones stuffed the stat sheet with 24 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, seven steals and two blocks, as the new-look Hornets used their transition game to blitz out to a 22-2 first-quarter lead and never looked back.
“I thought we did a pretty good job tonight,” Young said. “Inside we had it working from the get-go.”
Aggressive transition play and strong passing led to 10 for 17 shooting in the opening quarter for CHBC and an 18-point lead eight minutes into the game.
The Hornets cooled off considerably in the second quarter, but cold-shooting South Central could not take advantage, scoring just two points.
The Cougars — who lost leading scorers Tori Logue and Alexis Phillips from last year’s team — rebounded well and played hard throughout, but were clearly a little timid on offense. In the end, South Central could not overcome the fact that it made just six field goals in the game.
“I told the younger girls before the game and even in practice that if they’ve got open shots, take it, because they will eventually start falling,” Lady Cougars coach Gary Kapper said. “We had a little hesitation on those shots early in the game.”
Though the Hornets were never threatened, their offense did have an uncharacteristically off night from long range. A Paruleski 3-pointer early on in the third quarter wound up being CHBC’s only trifecta of the night.
“As you saw, we needed a few more shots to fall from the outside,” said Young of a team that lost long-range threats Faith Wendte, Courtney Myers and Bailey Doty from last year’s team. “But I think that will come.”
Jones, who absolutely dominated inside early on, played out on the perimeter for much of the second half and had several long jumpers rim out. But the all-stater excelled in all other aspects of the game, as she had 14 points, nine rebounds, four assists, five steals and two blocks in the first half alone.
The game was a warmup for a showdown with Central A&M on Thursday at Beecher City.
"They are rated pretty high here in the preseason and it is our mega night at Beecher City,” Young said. “We’ve got four big games.”
The night will start with junior high action at 4 p.m., followed by the JV and varsity games. South Central will play at North Clay on Thursday.
“All-in-all, for the first game, against the caliber team they are, I’m happy with it,” said Kapper of his team’s night. “Now we know what we need to work on and we’ll get after it in practice.”
CHBC 50, South Central 14
S. Central 4 4 2 4 — 14
CHBC 22 8 12 8 — 50
CHBC — Morrison 2 0-0 4, Jones 12 0-0 24, Miller 1 0-0 2, Riley 2 3-3 7, Paruleski 3 0-0 7, Herrmann 2 0-0 4, Hilt 1 0-0 2. Totals 23 3-3 50.
South Central — Rose 2 0-0 4, Lotz 1 0-0 2, Lewis 0 0-2 0, Keen 1 0-0 2, Cain 2 2-2 6. Totals 6 2-4 14.