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When Bria Walker’s first two shots clanged harmlessly off the rim it might have been a signal for her to stop shooting.
“She’s a shooter and she’s a scorer,” Metea Valley girls basketball coach Kris Kalivas said. “(If) she misses her first couple she knows to keep going at it.”
That is exactly what Walker did.
Those early misses disappeared in a hurry. Walker scored 15 of her game-high 19 points in the first half and the Mustangs (12-3) rolled to a relatively easy 63-46 victory over Plainfield North at the Oswego East Tournament Wednesday afternoon.
The victory earned the Mustangs the Pool A championship. They’ll play the winner of Pool C in the tournament semifinals at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Plainfield North hung with the Mustangs early, holding a 13-12 lead late in the first quarter. Then the Mustangs, fueled by a pair of three-point baskets by Walker, closed the quarter on a 10-1 run and never looked back.
When Walker wasn’t hitting jump shots, she was scoring in transition. Walker cheated by heading up court as soon as Plainfield North took a shot, banking on either 6-2 Lori Obendorf or 6-2 Anna Petersen getting the rebound.
“She does that on her own,” Kalivas said. “She likes to push the ball and she likes to score in transition, so it has been a benefit for us and one of our strengths.”
Obendorf was also a strength. She scored 10 points and sat out most of the second half after the Mustangs bolted to a 56-30 lead late in the third quarter.
Kalivas was able to play her entire bench and eight Mustangs found their way into the scoring column.
“I thought it was a well-balanced attack,” Kalivas said. “We’ve struggled to get ahead of teams and keep that lead and today we did a real nice job of keeping the lead and continued pulling away.”
Carlie Corrigan, who scored her 1,000th career point with her first basket of the game, paced the Tigers with 13 points.