By PAUL HINES
The Cardinals’ defense locked up Hamilton County and cruised to a 49-23 victory Saturday night.
Woodlawn forced Hamilton County into 14 turnovers and held the Foxes to six points in the opening half. The success on the defensive end helped Woodlawn take a 24-6 lead, which the Cardinals extended at the opening of the third quarter.
“I felt like our defensive intensity for the entire game was very good,” Woodlawn coach Shane Witzel said.
Woodlawn opened up a 33-8 advantage midway through the third. Gabe Owens helped the run with a pair of baskets. Kris Harlow and Logan Isaac added a pair of points each.
“It was very important that we didn’t let them back into the basketball game because we had played so well defensively in the first half,” Witzel said. “You knew that they were going to score some baskets. We just wanted to continue to make them work to get tough shots.”
The Cardinals spread the offense around. Harlow led the team with 12 points. Owens added 10, and Isaac finished with nine. Seven different Woodlawn players scored in the game.
“That’s a testament to the willingness of this group to do what it takes to become a good basketball team,” Witzel said. “That’s an encouraging thing for us is the chemistry and camaraderie is very good.”
Levi Luere was the lone Hamilton County player in double figures with 11.
Both offenses struggled in the early minutes. Hamilton County took its only lead of the game at 2-0 three minutes into action after a Garrett Biggerstaff putback basket. Woodlawn’s first score came midway through the first off a Ty Coleman steal.
Hamilton County finished the game six of 36 from the field. The Foxes ended with 19 turnovers.
“Offensively it’s been a struggle for us all year, and we knew that coming in,” Hamilton County coach Keith Welch said. “We had some things we wanted to try to do, and we had a few too many unforced turnovers which turned into easy transition layups for them.”
Woodlawn is 11-2 this season, and Hamilton County dropped to 4-8.