BOTKINS — Despite its youth, Fort Loramie continues to rack up lopsided victories.
The Redskins dominated from the opening seconds in a 50-18 win over Botkins on Thursday at the Coliseum to improve to 5-0 overall and 4-0 in Shelby County Athletic League play.
Two players led Fort Loramie in scoring on Thursday: A four-year varsity player and a freshman. Ava Sholtis, who missed almost all of last season due to a knee injury, scored 15 points, as did Avery Brandewie. Sholtis is a senior forward while Brandewie is a freshman guard.
“They did great,” Fort Loramie coach Carla Siegel said. “I can’t say enough about the way Ava Sholtis played. …She was scoring on the offensive end, she was getting shot deflections and rebounds. She just got everything going.”
Sholtis, who now wears a brace on her left leg she injured during volleyball last year, brought down 12 rebounds and had five steals, three assists and three blocks.
To make the night even more memorable, it was her birthday.
“She’s having a great year,” Siegel said. “She’s fun. She’s enjoying it. She’s enjoying being on the floor playing. I think she gets stronger each week. Missing a whole year is hard for anybody, but I think she’s doing great out there.
“… She got a steal and outran everybody for a layup once (tonight), and that’s awesome. She’s so explosive and so instinctive on defense as far as getting steals and rebounds.”
Botkins (4-2, 2-1) was looking to make a statement after winning its first two league games, including a 46-38 win at Anna on Nov. 30.
But the Trojans couldn’t do much to slow Fort Loramie’s offense. The Redskins jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the first five minutes, then scored the last 12 points of the first quarter to take a 22-3 lead heading into the second.
Botkins stayed in it in the second quarter, in which the Redskins had a 10-8 scoring edge. But Fort Loramie outscored Botkins 8-3 in the third and 10-4 in the fourth to run away.
Aside from Botkins’ defensive struggles, its offense didn’t do much better. Fort Loramie had 13 steals and held the Trojans’ leading scorer Carmen Heuker to nine points.
Hueker, a senior guard, was a first team all-Shelby County Athletic League selection last year and scored 20 points in both of Botkins’ previous two games, including the victory over Anna.
“Riley Heitkamp, Colleen Brandewie and Skylar Albers did a great job of playing defense on Heuker,” Siegel said. “She’s an amazing player. She has so many awesome moves to the basket. To keep her to single digits was the game plan we had, so I’m very pleased with the guard defense on her.”
Fort Loramie has won every game by double-digit margins. Aside from a 48-37 win over Russia on Nov. 23, the squad has won each contest by at least 24 points.
Minster (5-1) will be Fort Loramie’s next challenge to keeping up that success. The Redskins will travel to Minster to face their rivals on Saturday afternoon.
The Wildcats have won four straight since losing 57-30 to Russia on Nov. 20, including a 47-41 win over rival New Bremen on Thursday in a Midwest Athletic Conference game.
The Redskins have won the last three games against Minster, including a 47-36 regional semifinal win in March.
“They’ve improved a lot in the last three weeks,” Siegel said. “We saw them that first week when they played Russia, and we saw them this past week. They’re a different team. Mike (Wiss) has done a good job on getting them going.
“They’re going to throw different defenses at us, so we have to do a good job of recognizing the defenses thrown at us. The trapping, the full-court pressing. So hopefully our guards can handle the pressure, and we can get some easy points in the paint.”
Botkins shot 5 for 28 (18 percent) from the floor on Thursday while Fort Loramie shot 22 for 48 (46 percent). The squad had 27 rebounds.
Colleen Brandewie added nine points and had a team-high five deflections.