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Lewis nets 1,000th point as Cardinals rout Chiefs
Photo for the Times: Christopher Heimerman Brodhead senior Megan Heller goes up to score on a putback during the first half of the Cardinals' 61-43 victory at home Monday night.
BRODHEAD - After going over the 1,000-point mark in her high school career in Monday's 61-43 victory over Big Foot, Dana Lewis was happy to set something straight.

"I am right-handed," Lewis said.

That was less than obvious as the 6-2 Brodhead senior hit seven of her nine field goals - despite Big Foot persistently double- and triple-teaming her - with her left hand in scoring a game-high 22 points.

"This year, (Brodhead coach Brad) Pickett told me he was going to have the 5 go on the left side of the floor," Lewis said. "It was my goal this year to get more consistent with my left hand. It's been a struggle earlier in my career."

Lewis went to the left on all five of her second-hand hoops.

"She can go to either hand, and that's a credit to how hard she's worked on her game," Pickett said.

She scored six points and junior Mariah Mohns threw in two during an 8-0 spurt that opened the second half and staked Brodhead (13-8, 12-3 Rock Valley South) to a 44-26 lead with 5:25 left in the third.

After Mohns scored the quarter's last hoop with a textbook up-and-under move on Brittani Isham, she made a pinpoint entry pass to set up a Lewis bucket that opened the fourth and gave the Cards their biggest lead at 56-35.

Big Foot (11-9, 9-6 Rock Valley South) won the first matchup, 56-45, Dec. 15. Lewis said Monday's payback win was the perfect birthday present for senior point guard Megan Heller, who celebrated her 18th birthday Monday.

"She said. "Thanks guys for the birthday present,'" Lewis said, "because we lost to them the first time. We knew we were better than that and wanted to step out and show them."

Heller scored all eight of her points in the first half and pulled down seven rebounds despite standing just 5 feet, 6 inches.

"For how short she is, she does a really good job with rebounding," Lewis said.

Brodhead led 21-8 through the first period. After a Big Foot deuce opened the second, Mohns passed up a 3-point attempt from the left wing and swung it back to Heller, who splashed a 3 from the top of the key to make it 24-10.

Needing a win in Clinton Friday, coupled with a Parkview loss to 0-21 Palmyra-Eagle to have a shot at repeating as Rock Valley South champs, the Cardinals did some soul-searching before Monday's tilt.

"I asked them what kind of team we were going to be to finish the year," Pickett said. "Were we going to just throw in and play a couple more games, or would we respond and win a few games to go into the tournament with a little momentum?"

The result of said conversation? The Cardinals came out Monday with utmost focus, rifling off a 17-2 run over the first 4 minutes, 15 seconds of the game. After Heller yanked down a weak-side offensive board for a putback with contact that made it 14-2 Mohns capped the frenetic open by banging home a 3 from the right wing.

Mohns finished with nine points. Senior Riley Olson finished second in scoring for the Cards with 10 points, while senior Jordyn Courier led Big Foot with 12.

Pickett made two first-class moves in the late goings, first making wholesale substitutions with 1:33 left and leading 58-42.

"As a coach, it's tough sometimes to get everybody in," Pickett said. "When you can get everybody in, it's a great thing. All those girls show up to practice and it's great to get them some credit."

Then he asked the crowd to sit tight as he announced Lewis' achievement.

"It's a landmark in a basketball career, and I actually didn't know it was coming," Lewis said. "I'm glad it happened, but I've got to keep looking ahead in the season."