Panthers Buzz Bees
J. C. Tilton
After a lackluster performance against Tri Village, fans were wondering if the Panthers could bounce back against Bethel. On paper, this game would match teams with about the same records and should be winnable. But against Tri Village, the team got down early and never did seem to get into the game. Would the Panthers fall behind and drop into a malaise? Or would they show spirit and battle back against adversity?
TVS opening in a man to man defense that they stuck with for most of the game. They did press a little in the last part of the first quarter. Bethel used the press thru most of the game, falling into a half court zone defense. In the early going TVS marched ahead, quickly gaining a 6-2 advantage. It was clear what the two teams strategies were - TVS was going to use it's height advantage to score inside, while Bethel was going to press and generate points from steals. Bethel finished the first quarter strong - up 10-9.
Would TVS be able to hold off the Bethel onslaught in the second quarter, or would they fold? TVS stayed on the heels of the Bee's thru out the quarter. Bethel tried to use a spread offense to pull the Panthers away from the basket, but the stingy defense held them to 7 2nd quarter points. Turnovers were a factor as the Panthers turned the ball over at least 8 times in the first half. But at the 1:13 mark the team got the lead and extended it to 4 points thanks to Katie McCoy who scored the last 2 baskets of the half.
In the second half the Panther took better care of the ball. Turnovers dropped noticeably as the poised Panthers worked the ball down court and set up their offense. Without the points off of turnovers, Bethels offense slowed down. TVS continued to work the ball inside and extended their lead 35-27 by the end of the third. Bethel gamely tried to close the gap, but South easily held off the challenges and went on to win comfortably 49-39.
Coach Robinson spoke about the transition of the team on Tuesday against Tri-Village to the team that played Bethel on Thursday. “Against Tri-Village we played one of the most uninspired first halves of basketball that I have ever seen a group play. I was not a real happy camper at halftime. They did come out and play harder and they proved that they can play like that. So we had quite a discussion in practice about trying hard whether you are doing well or note, being motivated. This is a young team and when they make mistakes they get down on themselves. As opposed to a lot of teams I've coached they get mad and try harder. Tonight we talked about just going out with confidence. Keep each other up. From the very beginning I thought that's just how we played. We moved the ball better. They were in a zone and we were able to pick their zone apart. When they switched to man to man, we were real patient and looked for the open person. I was pleased with the post game, but we mixed in some outside shots. [Also] more patience bringing the ball down the court. Young players can't handle pushing the ball down the court. We can't get going too fast or we turn the ball over. So now we don't go down the court that fast and we don't turn the ball over”.
She was asked about Katie McCoys game - “I am going to guess that she had 20 something rebounds. She has gotten progressively stronger and stronger each game. She is so coachable. She struggled with her shot last game and we talked about getting more lift on the ball, and I thought that she finally did that”. Finally Coach Robinson stated, “ [Team] Defense was much stronger, especially inside, we had zero post defense on Tuesday. One [Bethel] post player was held to zero and the other only had 8 and that was it. We hit the offensive boards so hard tonight, we only had 6 on Tuesday”.
Scoring for TVS 32 vs. Tri-Village 62
Brubaker - 1 Lipps - 6 Duchemin - 2 Hayes - 18 McCoy - 5
Scoring for TVS vs. Bethel: Durkle 2, Lipps 3, Brubaker 4, Duchemin 3, Stone 4, Hayes 12, McCoy 21. The JV's lost a close game in over time 32-34, scoring: Spitler 3, French 8, McCollum 6, Colby 2, Deleranko 2, Ervin 4, Tilton 7.