WHEELING - After Brooke's Angela Staffelino swatted each of Linsly's first three shots and the Cadets trailed 7-1 midway through the first quarter Tuesday night, Linsly coach Erica Hall decided it was time for something else.
She took it back five and got the ball to freshman Morgan Brunner to see if things would work any better from the there.
Linsly’s Morgan Brunner (25) shoots over the blocking hand of Brooke’s Angela Staffileno (54).
Brunner hit seven 3-pointers and finished with a career-high 33 points as the Cadets finished off a sweep of the Bruins, 53-33, at Stifel Field House.
''We worked a lot in practice the other day getting screens for Morgan,'' Hall said. ''Obviously people pay attention to her on our team. We did a really good job of playing as a team in order to get those open shots and she was hitting them.''
Though she rarely missed from anywhere - Brunner was 6 of 9 from the free-throw line - it wasn't as if this was a glorified shootaround. Brooke had some hands in some faces throughout the entire barrage.
''(Brunner) hasn't had a person not on her in the two games we've played,'' Brooke coach Ryan Scherich said. ''We played a box-and-1 and we triangle-and-2'd 'em (Tuesday) with the (JJ) Jackson girl. There has was not one minute in two games we've played that we've not had one person on that girl constantly.''
It was Brunner's four-point play - rarity in a quarter in which both teams combine for 18 points - that sparked the Cadets. It erased the Linsly deficit with two minutes left in the first, and they never trailed again.
Brunner's sixth and seventh 3-pointers came back-to-back and lifted the lead from 36-27 to 42-27 early in the fourth quarter.
When Linsly (7-7) wasn't benefiting from the Brunner bombs, it was cleaning up on second-chance points.
''Offensive rebounding, I think, was our strong point,'' Hall said, pointing to the dirty work girls like Rosey Raths did off the bench.
Even with the 6-foot-1 Staffelino paroling the middle, the Cadets scored 10 points in the paint and 10 more on leaners inside of 10 feet.
''We're never going to win unless we rebound,'' Sherich said of his Bruins (1-15). When the other team gets five opportunities to make a bucket, sooner or later, one of them is going to go in.
''I will never say they don't hustle and bust their butt, but that's a mental thing. Boxing out and rebounding is mental. When you give the other team four and five opportunities, it's going to break your back.''
Staffelino hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored 21 points for the Brooke. Michaela Hinerman, who lit up Linsly with four 3-pointers in their last meeting, added two more and finished with 10 points. A field goal by Marena Cline early in the fourth quarter was the only other points Brooke registered.
Miriam Nwachukwu added seven points and Emma Cecil had finished with six for Linsly.