In one final match-up before the holiday break, the Cardinals hosted the rival Bulldogs in Brookville and split the series.
A cold shooting performance doomed the Lady Cardinals from the start, as they dropped the opening night game by a final of 35-12.
The Lady Bulldogs opened the contest on a 4-0 run before a Brynna Rowley jumper at 3:40 to go in the first quarter made it 4-2. Bennington closed the period on a 9-0 run to lead after a quarter 13-2. Both teams combined for six second quarter points and the Lady Bulldogs would lead at halftime 15-6.
Bennington began the third quarter on a 7-0 run before a Becca Ditto free throw ended the scoring drought for Ell-Saline. They would hit two more free throws in the period, their only points of the quarter, and trailed at the end of three 26-9. The Lady Cardinals would not score again until the clock showed :20 seconds left as Rowley connected from downtown, resulting in a final score of 35-12.
Rowley’s five points led Ell-Saline in scoring while Regan Robinson of Bennington led all scorers with 11.
The boys contest was a back and forth battle from the onset, with Ell-Saline pulling away at the end, securing a 63-56 victory.
Bennington scored the first four points of the night, and the two Heart of America League rivals would lock up at 10 all with 3:20 to go in the first quarter before the Cardinals used a 7-3 run to close the period leading 17-13. Ell-Saline would build their lead to as much as seven with 6:25 to go in the half, but the Bulldogs would close the gap before halftime as the Cardinals would lead by three at the break 29-26.
A back and forth third quarter of action saw Ell-Saline build the lead back up to eight at 2:20 to go in the quarter, but a 6-0 run to close the period had Bennington back within five at the end of three 46-41. The Bulldogs would get as close as two points at 54-52 with 3:02 remaining in the game, but the Cardinals went on a 9-4 run to close out the contest, mostly at the free throw line, and avenged an earlier season loss to Bennington by a 63-56 final.
It was a career night for Ell-Saline’s T.J. Morrical as he led all scorers with 20 points. Sawyer Kramer had 15 and Treyton Peterson 14 for the Cardinals. William Oldham’s 17 points led Bennington while Tyler Stanley and Javon Allen chipped in with 11 a piece.
Ell-Saline will next be in action on January 4th, as the teams host Heart of America rival Remington.