Inside game keys Lions’ rout of Shiloh

Another game against a top-10 opponent, another victory for the Bishop Ryan girls basketball team.

For the third time in four games this season, the Lions matched up against a ranked foe and did what they’ve done throughout their current 33-game winning streak: dominate the inside.

Junior forward Gabbie Bohl finished with a game-high 25 points and fellow 6-foot-2 forward Hannah Stewart added 20 as the top-ranked Lions routed No. 4 Shiloh Christian 77-43 on Saturday. Stewart grabbed 14 rebounds and the Lions held a 36-25 edge on the glass.

“We knew they were pretty short and we knew we had a size advantage,” Bohl said. “We wanted to get the ball down to the post and attack them because we knew their bench wasn’t as strong as last year. If we got them in foul trouble we knew it was going to be hard for them to stop us.”

Both teams started slow, but Ryan found its shooting touch quicker than the Skyhawks. The Lions opened on a 7-0 run with two baskets from Stewart and a 3-pointer from senior guard Anika Rovig. Shiloh went the first 4 minutes, 43 seconds without a bucket before junior forward Mia Wilkinson ended the scoring drought.

The Lions led 13-9 after the first quarter before blowing the game open in the second. Ryan switched from man-to-man to a 2-3 zone to start the quarter and opened on a 10-0 run. Stewart, Bohl and Rovig accounted for 18 of Ryan’s 20 points in the second stanza and the Lions opened up a 33-18 advantage at halftime.

Two days removed from allowing Lakota-Edmore’s Fallyn Freije to score 45 points, the Lions defense limited Shiloh’s top scorer – sophomore Jaye Two Bears – to 13 points.

“I thought we made some adjustments,” Ryan coach Julie Stewart said of the team’s defense. “In the first half we lost the shooter a little bit and in the second half when we had them identified, it was better.”

Foul trouble plagued the Skyhawks. Two Bears picked up two fouls in the first three minutes of the game and senior Gabby Wilkinson was forced to the bench after picking up her third in the second quarter. The three New Town transfers – Two Bears and both Wilkinsons – provided the bulk of Shiloh’s scoring with 29 points.

Their production couldn’t rival Ryan’s inside game. Bohl and Stewart consistently overwhelmed Shiloh’s forwards in the second half. Bohl scored 12 points in the third quarter and the 6-2 duo combined for 14 in the fourth.

“Me and Gabbie really know how to use each other,” Hannah Stewart said. “We know when the other team only has one post then we can use that to our advantage. We try to seal out and I look for her when I’m up top and vice versa and we also know we can feed our guards on the outside.”

Rovig had her best game of the season as she continues to rehab from offseason hernia surgery following the volleyball season. Rovig finished 4 of 6 from the field – including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc – and 7 of 9 from the free-throw line for 17 points.

“She said she’s fine but surgery is surgery,” Julie Stewart said. “It just took her a couple games to get in her groove.”

Ryan travels to Beulah on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Mike Kraft covers high school sports and hockey. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft23_MDN.