Ball movement can do wonders for offensive flow, but the Woodridge girls basketball team found itself on the opposite end of that action in a non-league game against a young and talented unit from neighboring Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy.
CVCA seemed to have all the answers against the Bulldogs’ zone defense.
Sometimes you just have to tip your cap as the Royals (2-0) jumped on each and every opportunity in a 61-17 win.
Skip passes, ball reversals and backdoor cuts led to open shots for CVCA, which forced Woodridge (1-1) to play from behind early.
Gia Casalinova nailed a jumper off of a skip pass by Sidney Marshall to vault CVCA to an early 6-0 lead.
However, Woodridge junior guard Bella Owen drilled a 3-pointer to make it 6-3 with 3:40 left in the first quarter.
The Royals went on a 6-0 run and never looked back.
Forcing 16 first half turnovers, CVCA had a 23-4 second quarter and led 38-9 at the half.
Host Woodridge continued to hustle and work hard.
CVCA’s freshmen guard trio of Kylie Bettinger, Nina Shaffer and Casalinova was exceptional.
This exciting trio played like veterans and combined for 43 points, 12 rebounds, 11 steals and dished out eight assists.
Casalinova had 16 points, seven thefts and four feeds while Bettinger pumped in 16 points, and Shaffer added 11.
The Bulldogs had some solid contributions from the bench.
Senior forward Bella Chirakos had four points and senior forward Kayla Kearns provided some energy along with senior guard Halle Grant (two steals), and senior post Leeann Small.
Kearns added two points, two boards, two thefts and one assist.
Woodridge opened the season at Kent Roosevelt Nov. 23 in non-league play and registered a 48-35 win.
Despite a narrow two-point lead in the first half over the Rough Riders (0-2), Woodridge outscored the hosts 25-14 in the second half.
Strong team defense held Kent to just 12 field goals in the win.
Senior guard Emma Francis was outstanding as she poured in a game high of 19 points and snagged a team-high seven rebounds. She also buried a 3-pointer.
Having a superb game was senior Lizzy Howard, who added 10 points while Owen canned a triple and finished with eight points.
Madison Randall, a senior wing, drilled a trey and junior post Olivia Woods had three points for the Bulldogs.
Woodridge will have a week off and they play two games in as many nights. The Bulldogs will play host to Akron Firestone Dec. 3 before opening its Portage Trail Conference Metro Division by hosting Cloverleaf Dec. 4. Varsity tip time for both games is set for 7 p.m.