Dunkirk continues hot start, top Tapestry, 75-43

OBSERVER Photo by Ron Szot Pictured above is Dunkirk’s Jessica Beehler surveying the court in a game on Monday. Dunkirk steamrolled Tapestry Charter on Tuesday, 75-43.

Two for two.

The Dunkirk Marauder girls basketball team made another statement on Tuesday as they dominated the Tapestry Charter Thunder Hawks from start to finish, winning by a score of 75-43 at Dunkirk High School.

Chances are, if you blinked, you missed the start of Tuesday’s game, because the Lady Marauders were out and running from the beginning.

After a rough night shooting on Monday, Dunkirk’s Olivia Smith found her stroke on Tuesday as she drilled three 3-point baskets to kick off the game. Those buckets combined with a Nadara O’Dell layup had the Marauders up 8-0.

“They were playing zone and Olivia is our zone buster,” said Dunkirk head coach Ken Ricker. “She got hot right away and that really changed the game when we jumped out to an early lead like that. “

After Tapestry got on the board, Smith drilled another three, forcing the Thunder Hawks to call timeout.

“The way [Smith] started you might’ve thought she’d set a school record for threes,” joked Ricker. “But they found her a little bit and she cooled off but we have some nice pieces on this team altogether.”

After the timeout, O’Dell found her rhythm.

The theme of the night was Dunkirk’s Jessica Beehler finding O’Dell on the fast break, as O’Dell created her own 6-0 run to push the lead to 22-8 Dunkirk, forcing another Tapestry timeout.

“It’s the way we practice,” said Ricker when asked about his team’s pace of play. “We stress so much that we like to get half of our points in transition. We have good sets and we like running them, but you aren’t going to get the primary breaks all the time. There’s secondary stuff we can get and they’re learning that.”

Dunkirk’s fast scoring led to a 24-8 lead after the first quarter.

The second quarter was much of the same for the Marauders.

Dunkirk started the quarter on a 10-4 run, capped off by an O’Dell layup on a nice feed from Beehler. Kymi Nance got a couple of transition buckets to get her going as well, pushing the Dunkirk lead ever further as the first half played on.

“[Tapestry] tried some other things like when they went to man,” said Ricker. “When they go to man then we have Kymi to break it.”

Dunkirk dictated the tempo all evening, playing run and gun basketball and Tapestry just couldn’t keep up with them.

“It’s a difficult game — you never want to have the games where score is like it was tonight,” said Ricker. “Everyone got to work hard today and we coached them up.”

With 4.5 seconds left, Amari Carter inbounded the ball to Beehler who fishes it up ahead to Nance for a three point basketball as time expired, giving Dunkirk the 46-19 lead at the half.

That was the story of the night for Dunkirk, playing hard and fast while knocking down shots. Whether it’s running the floor or slowing it down and running offense, Dunkirk is clicking on all cylinders.

“We have 23 sets in right now and these girls have them down,” said Ricker about his offense. “A lot of them work off of each other, but their ability to learn and retain information has been awesome.”

The Lady Marauders coasted in the second half to finish the game strong. O’Dell was Dunkirk’s leading scorer with 22 points while Nance added 15 and Smith had 12.

Dunkirk (2-0) will travel to the Westfield Tournament this weekend.

“We have a lot of different people that can do different things,” said Ricker. “It’s not going to be the same person every night, and that’s great. It’s a great start for us against two totally different teams. It’s always great to play the bigger schools to see where you’re at. That’s what the non-league games are for.”