ST. CLAIR TWP. — The Edgewood High School girls basketball team is another step closer to reaching its regular-season goal.
Jessica Moore hit five 3-pointers and bucketed a game-high 19 points to help the Cougars stay unbeaten in the Southwest Ohio Conference with a 67-43 victory over Talawanda at Ron Kash Court on Wednesday.
“We want it. That’s what we’re trying to do — go undefeated in the league,” Edgewood coach Matt Tolliver said. “We feel like we can beat anybody right now. Our girls are playing good ball.”
Moore, a sophomore guard, topped her career best by a point on Wednesday. She bucketed 18 in Edgewood’s win over Ross on Dec. 16.
“We played great tonight,” Moore said. “We hit a bunch of 3s, which I felt had to do with a lot of the reason why we won.
“If we would run our plays, and when they’d switch it up on us, we were able to find the post,” Moore added. “But if they didn’t switch, we were able to hit the 3. We definitely knew when to throw it inside and when to keep it around the outside.”
“She’s stepped up huge this year,” Tolliver said of Moore. “She kind of did the dirty work prior to this year — rebounding, getting some assists, running all five spots. This year, she’s gained a lot of confidence with her shot. She’s looking for the shot now.”
The Cougars, who move to 15-1 overall and 5-0 in the SWOC, nailed nine of their 14 treys in the second half and fired 50 percent from behind the arc overall.
“We can really shoot it,” Tolliver said. “It’s not just one girl out there. We’ve got six or seven who can shoot it — so it gets really hard to defend that. If teams come out and guard, we have some girls who can get to the rim.”
Talawanda coach Mary Jo Huismann said her team’s lack of defending the perimeter in the second half separated things.
“That’s a good ball team we just played. We let them know that they could make 3s,” said Huismann, whose Brave slipped to 6-10 overall and 3-3 in the SWOC.
“When you allow them to get relaxed from out there, a team like that will make their shots,” Huismann added. “So they relaxed a little bit, and they realized that when we made a couple of mistakes. That took the pressure off them — we relieved the pressure off of them. Then they just went crazy with all of those 3s.”
Edgewood held on to a slight advantage throughout the first half before taking a 26-21 lead into the halftime break.
The Brave pulled it to within two at 28-26 with 5:21 left in the third, but the Cougars applied a pesky full-court press and reeled off 10 straight points to widen the gap back up.
“I think we kind of wore them out,” Tolliver said. “Our pressure may not get you right away at the beginning, but it will eventually wear on you and the mistakes will come.”
Senior Chloe Butler had 13 for Edgewood, while junior Lizzy Allen had 12 points — all 3-pointers — coming off the bench. Tolliver noted that six players recorded at least two assists. Freshman Rylie Homan dished out six of them.
Talawanda sophomore Kylee Fears, the SWOC’s leading scorer averaging just under 19 points a game, finished with 13 on Wednesday.
“People are double-teaming her and triple-teaming to stop her,” Huismann said of Fears.
Freshman Myah Keene scored 12 points for the Brave, who are looking to rebound at home against Mount Healthy on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
“We’ve taken some big steps,” Huismann said. “This year, we’re in every game. And we understand that when we’re making mistakes, I’ll let them know about it now so that we can try to fix them.”
Edgewood travels to Ross on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Talawanda 12 9 10 12 — 43
Edgewood 19 7 17 24 — 67
Talawanda (6-10, 3-3 SWOC) — Weekley 4 0 9, Motta 2 0 4, Wright 2 0 6, Keene 4 3 11, Fears 5 2 13. Totals 14 5 43.
Edgewood (15-1, 5-0 SWOC) — Butler 6 1 13, Homan 1 0 2, Kimberlin 1 0 3, Burton 3 0 9, Moore 7 0 19, Allen 4 0 12, Hunt 3 2 9. Totals 25 3 67.
3-Point Goals — T: Wright 2, Fears 1, Weekly 1; E: Moore 5, Allen 4, Burton 3, Kimberlin 1, Hunt 1.