North Rebounds After Loss
J. C. Tilton
The TCN Lady Panthers had a discouraging loss against league leading Miami East. The Vikings controlled every facet of the game and handed the Panthers a lopsided 77-33 loss. This past week the team needed to rebound from that setback the week before to stay in the top half of the league. To make this even more difficult, both games were on the road, and they had to do this without the services of 4 year starting point guard senior Tiffany Daughtery. Due to health reasons she has had to miss the last few games and it is uncertain when she will be released to return.
Both games this past week were against league foes, and both games had similar outcomes. First up was the Ansonia Tigers. Filling in for Daughtery was Rachel Heindl, who in tribute to her missing teammate, wore the seniors familiar number 23. In the first half the teams sparred evenly. But in the second half the unrelenting defense pressure of the Panther team seemed to wear down the Tigers. The team broke open the game midway thru the third quarter and outdistanced the Tigers for an easy 59-35 win. Heindl lead Panther scoring with 20 points.
Next game for the Panthers was against National Trail. The Blazers had just won their first game of the season against Carlisle. So this gave them a little momentum and some confidence. But North's trapping defense was able to thwart the efforts of Trail. They were able to convert turnovers into points and had a healthy lead at halftime 29-16. But the Panthers couldn't shake free from the Blazers until the 4th quarter. The scrappy Blazers kept the game in reach until that quarter when the Panthers went on a run thanks in part to Heindl's 12 4th quarter points, she would lead all scorers with 24. The Panthers won handily 66-43 bringing their record to 9-5. It was the first North win over Ansonia in 8 years.
North's coach Freisthler had some comments after the Blazer game, “I thought they played well, I was not too happy with the defense. I thought we should have been able to stop some of the inside play. I was not happy with the rebounding. The rebounding is something we need to work on. I was happy when we were pressing with the pressure up front. We had a good transition offense, that was a high point for us.”
Next she was asked about Rachel Heindl who did well both nights, “She had a bit of a slump offensively, but she has been playing well for us. But that comes with younger players. She is definitely a spark for us. When she is on, the momentum is up. She hustles and is one of our leading rebounders.”
Sarah Whittaker did well defensively both nights, “She gives the offensive such headaches with her defense. Which is fantastic. They will throw the ball in and she will steal it before they even know it. She just keeps pestering them, she pesters away the who le game. Defensively she is very valuable for us.”
On the team, “We knew last year we had some good players. This year it is clicking, it was getting enough people with the right experience. We are really starting to bring it on. They have really hustled, they have really worked hard every practice. I don't let them have it easy the day before a game - they are really pushed every day and they continue to perform.”
On the loss of Tiffany Daughtery, “The team really misses her, the team looks to Tif as a leader big time. They respect her, they think she is a fantastic player. It hurts us because we lose a ballhandler. But overall the team has coped pretty well.”
Coach Bolin of Trail, “North shot well, but our defense made it easy for them. When you don't defend the shooter, naturally their shooting percentage is going to go up. I thought we showed some aggression coming back from halftime. We made a little bit of headway, and then we started turning over the ball again. You can't win ball games making over 20 turnovers. They were just more aggressive in just about every department.” Comments email: Chris Tilton