STERLING – The days of Sterling’s girls basketball team being on the wrong end of a lopsided final score appear to be over.
On Friday night, the Golden Warriors were on the right side of a rout, as they blasted NIB-12 West rival LaSalle-Peru 69-37 at Musgrove Fieldhouse.
The victory pushed Sterling’s winning streak to eight games, something that’s struck a chord with a core of upperclassmen.
“It’s really cool, especially after having only six wins my sophomore year,” senior guard Josi Borum said. “Being able to have a winning streak means a lot to the girls who’ve played on varsity for 3 years.”
Coach Taylor Jackson had racked up 18 wins in her first two seasons at the helm, but the Warriors improved to 16-4 overall Friday night, and stayed perfect in NIB-12 play with a perfect 7-0 mark.
“I’m just excited about how hard our girls are working,”
Jackson said. “They’re getting after it in practice, and that’s translating to the games. That’s my favorite part right now. They’ve put in the work for this.”
Borum scored a game-high 17 points, and also blocked three L-P shots. Each Sterling starter – Josi Borum, Genea Garza, Grace Gould, Brook Borum and Gretchen Gould – scored in the first quarter to put the Warriors up 15-10.
Sterling outscored the Cavaliers 21-4 in the second quarter, using a similar formula of turning stingy defense into transition offense to break away.
“I didn’t think we came out with much energy, and didn’t execute in the first quarter,” Jackson said. “In the second quarter, the girls realized they needed to put forth their best effort.”
Brook Borum swiped a steal and made a layup, and Grace Gould sent a long pass up ahead to Josi Borum for a layup to make it 23-10 Warriors midway through the second.
Grace Gould drilled a corner 3, Josi Borum stole the ensuing inbounds pass for an easy layup, Gretchen Gould made a layup after her younger sister picked off an L-P pass, Brook Borum recorded another layup off a steal, Bree Borum made her own layup, and Brooke Cole swiped a steal and went the length of the floor for a layup.
LaSalle-Peru (4-13, 2-4 NIB-12) committed 10 turnovers in the second quarter, as Sterling led 36-14 at intermission.
“We didn’t get a hand in their face, and didn’t get back in transition,” L-P coach Hollis Vickery said. “Sterling is the best team we’ve played this year, hands down. They’ve got a very nice team, and I expect them to go far in the postseason.”
The Cavaliers started the second half on an 8-3 run, as Lauren Klein and Paige Champlin each connected on a 3 and Rhiannon Skoog knocked down a mid-range jumper.
The Warriors bounced back, and still found a way to outscore L-P by five in the third quarter to go up 57-30.
Meghan Sechrest scored nine of Sterling’s 12 points in the fourth quarter, as the Warriors’ reserves managed to outscore the Cavs by five over the final 8 minutes.
Sterling shot 45 percent (29-for-64) from the field, out-rebounded L-P 38-24, and finished with 17 steals. Grace Gould stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, five assists and three steals, while Gretchen Gould also scored 10 points. Brook Borum and Bree Borum added nine and seven points, respectively, as well as five steals apiece.
The Cavs committed 24 turnovers and shot just 30 percent (14-for-46) from the field. Lauren Klein led the way with 13 points. Aubrie Roda and Champlin chipped in nine and eight points, respectively.
Sterling 69, LaSalle-Peru 37
Star of the game: Josi Borum, Sterling, 17 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks
Key performers: Grace Gould, Sterling, 10 points, 5 assists, 3 steals; Gretchen Gould, Sterling, 10 points; Lauren Klein, LaSalle-Peru, 13 points, 3 3-pointers
Up next: Rochelle at Sterling, 7 p.m. Tuesday