STEGER | Crete-Monee's Marsha Howard and guard Lindzy Cox continue to sparkle.
Howard had 25 points, Cox 24, as the No. 3 Warriors stepped up when they had to for a 71-49 Southland Athletic Conference win Thursday at Bloom Trail.
Crete (9-2, 4-0) started the game on a 19-2 run, but the Blazing Trojans (3-8, 1-2) battled back and twice in the game got within 12 points.
"I thought we got it done early on defense and set the tempo," Crete coach Christina Cobbins said. "It made us the aggressors and we were able to take control."
Bloom dressed just eight players and was playing without guard Danielle King, who has been out over a week with turf toe, according to coach Ron Newquist.
"We made a ton of mistakes to start the game, then we started playing basketball the way we should."
Cobbins said Bloom did a nice job of making two runs and challenged her kids.
"I put in a new set of fresh legs," Cobbins said. "I put the kids out there who wanted to play defense. We got some blocks, steals and opened up a bigger lead."
Crete took a 25-14 first-quarter lead an expanded it to 44-24 at halftime.
"I had almost all sophomores out there and some had never played varsity before," Newquist said. "We made some mistake,s but didn't quit. Once we started playing defense and rebounded, we were able to make a run."
Bloom trailed 53-38 after three.
"I do not believe in moral victories," Newquist said. "I like the way we battled, but we made a lot of mistakes, which happens when you don't have experience."
Arianna Dampier led Bloom with 14 points, while Anika Johnson had 13.
Crete-Monee outrebounded the Blazing Trojans 32-22 and shot 60 percent, making 30 of 50 field-goal attempts. Bloom Township was 18 of 49 from the field.