But in the end, Vermilion — led by dueling 15-point efforts from senior AuBree LaForce and junior Hannah Bartlome — came away with a 48-36 non-conference victory over Wellington to improve to 7-4l.
“Too much Christmas pudding,” Vermilion coach Colin Irish said. “We didn’t have our legs about us tonight. But it was a win. We did some things very well, but we saw some things we need to work on. The motto is ‘Get better every day,’ and we have something to build on going into the new year.”
The Sailors held Wellington (5-5) to just 21-percent shooting (14-of-69) — 11 percent (4-of-39) from the 3-point arc. However, despite jumping out to a 7-1 lead, they could never seem to put away the Dukes.
“None of us really played that great tonight,” Irish said. “We didn’t get a chance to practice (after Christmas) because of the weather. I’m not blaming that on our performance tonight, but we weren’t sharp. We played well enough to win the game, and give (Wellington) credit. They played hard all the way through.
“Had they made a couple more shots, it could have gone either way. They beat us to more loose balls and they outrebounded us (49-45). I know they had more offensive rebounds than we did.”
Vermilion didn’t shoot that much better, going 20-of-59 from the floor (34 percent). LaForce only made six of her 25 attempts while Bartlome was 6-of-16. But, it was more than enough to get the W.
“We’re coming off Christmas and we didn’t practice yesterday, so we were all kind of struggling in the early going,” LaForce said. “But once we got calm and got things under control and started running our style, things fell into place.
“It played a factor a little bit, just coming together and playing again after the layoff is hard for any team. But once we took a deep breath and got things under control, we were fine.”
Raven Howard led the way for Wellington with 11 points, but shot just 5-of-16 from the floor. Karly Rollin, who is one of Wellington’s more reliable shooters, only made one shot in her 19 attempts and wound up with five points.
“We’ve got a lot of girls that are sick right now,” Wellington coach Chris Reutepohler said. “Pretty much our entire team has got some type of cold or flu. It’s never a good sign when one of your girls brings a box of tissues to the bench and says they’re for her and four other teammates. Not that it’s an excuse at all, but we tried to shuttle more girls in and out early and we just weren’t hitting anything.
“They were going to let us shoot and that’s normally our strength — our outside shooting. Today, nothing was falling. It didn’t matter who we put out there today. They have confidence shooting, it just wasn’t there today. Karly and Grace (Dooley) are two of our best shooters, and they both really struggled (2-for-28 combined).”
Wellington got it as close as 19-16 late in the first half. However, six unanswered points by the Sailors bumped that cushion up to 25-16 at the half.
Vermilion opened the second half with seven unanswered points, which turned into a 9-2 run. That increased its lead to 34-18. The Sailors held Wellington without a point for almost the first four minutes of the third quarter.
“Seven and four isn’t bad,” Irish said. “I think we could be better, but I’m happy with seven and four. I know the girls are happy. But again, the goal is to get better for the new year and get better every day.
“Today was sloppy, but we’ll try to correct our mistakes and prepare for Clearview (on Jan. 3).”
Vermilion 48, Wellington 36
VERMILION (48): AuBree LaForce 6-2-15, Hannah Bartlome 6-2-15, Leigh Stainbrook 3-2-8, Ali Kowal 2-0-4, Ellen Rossi 1-0-2, Jasmine Porter 2-0-4, Kalynn Smith 0-0-0, Jennifer Kovarik 0-0-0, Sarah Bartlome 0-0-0. Totals 20-6-48.
WELLINGTON (36): Raven Howard 5-0-11, Karly Rollin 1-2-5, Allison Rangel 2-0-4, Erin Reisinger 1-0-3, Grace Dooley 1-0-2, Michelle Perry 1-2-4, Kelsey Werdebaugh 2-0-5, Alasaundra Hardoby 1-0-2, Leah Snyder 0-0-0. Totals 14-4-36.
Vermilion 11 14 11 12 — 48
Wellington 7 9 11 9 — 36
Three point goals: Vermilion 2-7 (LaForce, H. Bartlome), Wellington 4-39 (Reisinger, Werdebaugh, Howard, Rollin). Field goals: Vermilion 20-59 (34 percent), Wellington 14-69 (21 percent). Free throws: Vermilion 6-9 (67 percent), Wellington 4-6 (67 percent). Rebounds: Vermilion 45 (Rossi 12, Kowal 9), Wellington 48 (Rangel 9, Howard 9). Turnovers: Vermilion 16, Wellington 17. Junior varsity: Vermilion, 38-27.
Contact Dan Gilles at 329-7135 or email@example.com.