ERIE — Inconsistency had plagued the Cherryvale Chargers. The Erie Red Devils were coming off a disappointing loss to Humboldt. The two teams met on Tuesday night looking to change the narrative.
It was Cherryvale that upended Erie 53-48 to secure its third straight win and second in Tri-Valley League play.
“A win is always huge no matter who you’re playing,” Cherryvale head coach Kelsey Overacker said. “We’ve been a little inconsistent. This was our first three-game win streak of the year. We’ve played a pretty tough schedule, so winning three in a row with homecoming on Friday is huge.”
Morrigan Catlin led the Chargers with 15 points.
“We’ve been waiting on her,” Overacker said. “She’s an X-factor for us. We put her on Kramer a little bit. She did well.”
Mariah Monroy, in a matchup against Erie’s Maddie Kramer that pitted two of the area’s best post players, added 13 points.
“Mariah is Mariah and she’s a gamer,” Overacker said. “When the game got close late, she was the one to set us up. That’s the competitor in her.”
Kramer led Erie with 13 points but had to slug her way to the basket all night. In a scouting lesson learned from Erie’s loss in the Lancer Classic championship to College Heights, Cherryvale sold out to limit paint production.
“She runs their offense,” Overacker said. “It’s her and (Skylar) Clevenger. If Kramer catches, she’s going to score or create for her teammates. So we wanted to keep the ball out of her hands. You see what happens when she catches.”
With Erie enduring its first losing streak of the season, the Red Devils are searching for more options offensively.
“I’m not quite sure,” Daniels said of the team’s two straight losses. “We have too many turnovers. We’re not boxing out. We played a lot of man tonight which we haven’t done a lot of this season. And we looked terrible in the beginning. We did better in the second half. But we have a lot of work to do.”
Ryleigh Brant scored 11 points for Erie in the loss to Cherryvale.
“She’s always been our defensive person,” Daniels said. “For her to step up tonight on offense was huge. She drove well, was under control and her shot was falling. I’d like to find more guards that can handle the ball and can score.”
Cherryvale has also handed the reins of the offense to freshman point guard Jailee Reister, A capable ball handler, Reister had eight points and has proven to be a prime perimeter defender.
“She’s got some good handles and sees the floor well,” Overacker said. “She’s still young. But getting her experience in games that are tough will build up her mental toughness when March comes around.”
With the loss, Erie dropped to 10-4 overall and 1-2 in Tri-Valley League action. The Red Devils face Bluestem on Friday.
“We do well in practice, but in games we’ve fallen apart lately,” Daniels said. “We’ve got to learn to settle down, handle pressure and take it to the other team when we can.”
Cherryvale improved to 8-4 overall and 2-1 in league play. The Chargers face Fredonia on homecoming Friday night.
“I know they’re another team that’s young and gets after it,” Overacker said. “The league is up and down and it comes down to what team shows up.”
Cherryvale 53, Erie 48
Erie: 14 6 14 14 — 48
Cherryvale: 16 14 9 14 — 53
Erie: Hailey McGowen 3, Skylar Clevenger 10, Sarah Stark 5, Ryleigh Brant 11, Maddie Kramer 13
Cherryvale: Jailee Reister 8, Kelsi Lantz 5, Morrigan Catlin 15, Katie Plumley 7, Mariah Monroy 13, Harley Allen 3, Jenni Bunyard 2