North Girls Hold Off Bradford
J. C. Tilton
After having gotten off to a slow start this season the young Panther team seems to be getting some late season momentum. Scoring has been a problem for the team, but Coach Stammen's emphasis on shot selection seems to be paying off as the offense has taken life. In her post game interview she spoke about how this has paid off for the Panthers, “when you're more patient, you score more.” As evidence of this, the Panthers put 3 players into double figures: Tiffany Daugherty, Rachel Heindl, and Lauren Perry. After losing a close game to a Tri Village - a team that consistently finishes in the top half of the conference, the North girls hosted Bradford.
It was a story of two halves. North raced out to an early lead. They more than doubled up the Railroaders in the first quarter with a 20-9 lead. They slowed down the pace of scoring in the second, but had a healthy 29-16 halftime lead. But Bradford was not ready to roll over and play dead.
They went to work with their press and began to chip away at the Panther lead. North was not getting many defensive rebounds in the third quarter and the Railroaders got a lot of points off of put backs. North countered with a half court trap and some full court pressing of their own. Both teams used zone defenses in the half court. The teams had a fair number of turnovers, but North seemed to do a better job of converting turnovers to points.
Still Bradford outscored TCN in the second half. They closed to within 7 late in the fourth quarter. It looked a little bleaker when TCN post player Laura Green collected her 4th foul and took a seat on the bench. The team does not have much height, so the loss of her affected rebounding. But time spent at the foul stripe in practice paid off for the Panthers in the last quarter. Freshman Rachel Heindl scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, 5 of those points coming from free throws. The game got rough at the end, with Bradford being called for an intentional foul. And there could have been a case made for a second intentional foul when a minute later 3 Railroaders took down pint sized freshmen Sarah Whitaker. The Panthers did manage to hold off the Railroaders and come away with a 56-48 win.
“We had goals for ourselves before the game started,” stated TCN coach Molly Stammen, “Defensively we knew what we had to hold them to, and we did that in the first half. In second half we came out and played horrible. We made some bad decisions - we ended up with 25 turnovers, 17 missed free throws. They need to learn that not every game has to be a close nail biter. They need to play with a little more confidence.” Next she was asked about the team being able to score in the second half of the season. “We were taking 65 shots per game, but they were dumb shots. We were not making the right decisions. They learned to slow down a bit and work the offense. Take the open shot, not the forced shot and it's working.” Finally she was asked about Rachel Heindl in the last quarter. “She's a freshman, but she doesn't play like a freshman. At the end of games like that she plays like a upperclassman. She fights hard and she doesn't like to lose. She gave everything tonight, she was totally out of steam after the game in the locker room.”
Scoring for TCN: Bussard 3, Daugherty 17, Delong 3, Heindl 15, Mullins 4, Perry 10, Whitaker 4. Comments: email: Chris Tilton