Vuletich paves the way for Western Reserve in bounce back win

Sports

Vuletich scores 36 in the Blue Devils dominating performance

BERLIN CENTER, OHIO (WKBN) – Behind the inside scoring of Danielle Vuletich and the outside shooting of Alyssa Serensky and Kennedy Miller, the Western Reserve Blue Devils bounced back in a big way from their season-opening loss to Cornerstone Christian last week with an 87-42 victory over the East Palestine Bulldogs.

The victory improves the Blue Devils to 1-1 on the year, while the Bulldogs take the loss in their season-opening contest.

Vuletich would command the inside all night as she recorded a game-high 36 points including 30 from inside the paint and 6 of 8 free throws.  She would yank down 14 rebounds on the night to pace the Devils on the boards.

“We knew they didn’t have a lot of height.  So the game plan was to go inside, but once they came out in the 1-2-2 zone, all of our team can shoot so we just went to our shooters too,” Vuletich said of her teammates.

“She’s a tough match-up for us,” Bulldogs head coach Will Franklin admitted.  “She is a heck of a ballplayer.  She gave us problems underneath, all you have to do is throw it up to her and she cleans the glass real nice.  She was a matchup nightmare for us.”

In addition to Vuletich’s huge numbers, Serensky would record 15 points on the night including 5 baskets from behind the arc.  Olivia Pater added 11 points, and Kennedy Miller would knock down three treys to record 9 points.

“We are definitely an inside-outside team, but we’re willing to throw it up there equally as going inside,” Blue Devils head coach Steve Miller remarked. “I think we had a good balance tonight.  We are pretty versatile in that we can play zone, play man, we can go full and half (court).”

The Blue Devils came out on fire as they raced out to a 9-3 lead and then held a 20-7 advantage with just under two minutes remaining in the first period.  They would continue to pull ahead in the second frame as they outscored the Bulldogs 20-8 in the quarter and held a commanding 44-18 lead at the intermission.

The Blue Devils would keep the pressure up in the second half of the contest as they held a 67-29 advantage by the end of the third quarter.  They would go on to outscore the Bulldogs in the fourth frame 20-13 to capture the 41-point, 87-42 victory.

The Bulldogs were lead by Joclyn Fristik who scored 19 points, including 6 three-pointers.  Morgan Rutledge would reach double-figures with 11 points including one trey.

“Obviously, you run into these guys to open up is tough,” Franklin said.  They are a good team, 23 wins last year, so for us we want to build on the success we had last year.  Even though we didn’t play the way we wanted to play, there is still a lot of stuff we can take away from this game and build on moving forward.”

Next up for the Blue Devils, they will travel to Walsh University this Friday to play Thurgood Marshall.  The Bulldogs will have a week off as they regroup and bounce back when they play at Jackson-Milton.

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