Dogs, Cats Battle for Two Overtimes
J. C. Tilton
The 2006-2007 edition of basketball season got off to a fiery start as the Tri-County North and Dixie Girls basketball teams squared off on opening night. Plenty of fans were on hand to watch, and the teams did not disappoint. North, a team without much height, hustled and scrapped for four quarters, while Dixie relied on Sarah Kelhoffer, who scored a game high 28 points to provide much of their offense.
North lead for a good deal of the game, with Dixie staying on their heels. Both teams played half court defense for most of the game with North throwing in an occasional trap. In the fourth quarter, North had stretched their lead out to 11 points and hunkered down into a slow down offense. Meanwhile Dixie was overplaying the ball on defense and taking chances. But taking gambles was paying off as Dixie had several steals for baskets in the last quarter and gradually closed the gap. And the Dixie crowd got louder and louder with each made basket. With less than a minute to go, it was a tie ball game.
Neither team could break the gridlock and the game went into the first overtime. It became a free throw contest as both teams were in bonus. Both North and Dixie fouled out players, post player Randi Bargo from Dixie and wing Sarah Whittaker from North both were sent to the bench. North was cool from the foul line, while Dixie was able to hit their tosses from the charity stripe. North did hit some shots from the field and the overtime ended with the teams knotted up again. In the second overtime, North settled down and Rachel Heindl, who scored 22 points for North, hit some key shots from the foul line. The team also hit paydirt from the field and stretched out their lead again. This time they held off Dixie and won 66-59.
North's coach Freisthler was happy with her first win, “I thought that they really well, they really hustled, I think that's what won it for us. They played with a lot of heart. Defensively the team did a good job of pressuring their wings, they have some really good three point shooters. Offensively, the team did a good job of taking their time waiting for an open shot instead of rushing it.”
Next she was asked about Dixie's Sarah Kelhoffer. “We remember her from last year, she is a good player and really tough with an excellent outside shot. We did do work with our players to come out and put pressure on the outside shot.” Also the coach was asked to comment on Rachel Heindl, who scored 22 points for North. “Rachel is an excellent player, she works hard and always sacrifices herself for the team and for the game. She has an excellent shot.” Finally the coach was asked about the slow down offense. “We haven't really worked on it, but that is something we sure need to fine tune.” If the team continues to play this hard, I am sure that this isn't the last time they will need to use it.
Coach Beglein of Dixie was asked for his thoughts on the game, “North came out in the first half and were just hitting everything. We were playing decent defense, but I mean they were just putting the shots up and they were going in. And then they cooled off and we started playing more aggressive. In the overtimes we had our chances, but a travel call hurt us, and North hit a three the one time to tie it back up again. We also had foul trouble that hurt us late in the game. We knew North had some good players, but they had some people score that we did not expect to score. Rachel Heindl hit some shots from the wing that we were not looking for. We played good from the second half on. North surprised me in a lot of ways, one with their quickness out front, and another with their hustle; they were scrappy - they went after loose balls. We did a nice job, we just can't wait until the second half when you are 12 points down before you turn it on. It was a nice game probably for the fans, but I didn't like it.”
Next the coach was asked about Sarah Kelhoffer, “Sarah is the kind of player that will get you a lot of points. She got bumped around a lot but she has to get used to that because she goes to the basket so much. She's not a physical specimen in that she is skinny, but she can take it.”