|Withering press propels Lady Wildcats past Apaches|
|Wednesday, November 28, 2012 12:45 PM|
The formula worked well once more Tuesday night as the Lady Wildcats crushed invading Fairview 57-20 in non-league action at Jefferson High School.
The stats don’t lie: the Wildcats (2-1) forced 31 miscues (11 of their own) — even throwing in a 46-38 winning of the backboards (22-16 offensive) — that accounted for a 64-44 disparity in field-goal attempts.
The Red and White finished making 22 shots (including 4-of-5 3-balls) for 34.3 percent to the Lady Apaches seven (1-of-3 triples) for 15.9 percent.
“We are in a much better flow offensively when the ball is moving up and down the court. That is our game and we’re at our best in that style,” Hoffman said. “We moved the ball better as the game wore on, using the skip pass and so forth. We are getting more aggressive taking the ball to the basket as well.”
The turnovers started from the word go as the hosts forced eight in the first period as the visitors struggled to handle the full- and half-court pressure defense of the hosts. Still, Delphos didn’t necessarily take advantage as they canned only 4-of-18 shots. A desperation 23-foot 3-ball by Fairview’s Ali Hug at the horn got the Apaches within 9-7.
Whereas the Apaches only seemed to get worse from then on — the seven points in the first was their best output of the night — the Red and White were just getting started. The Wildcats kept up their pressure “D” and forced eight more errors by the visitors, plus they maintained their excellent offensive rebounding, getting second and even third attempts on their treks downcourt. Five different Wildcats scored at least a basket and they combined for 6-of-19 from the field and they held the Apaches scoreless for the first 6:48 of the canto. A putback by junior Rileigh Stockwell (game-high 14 markers, 9 boards, 4 thefts) with 53 ticks left put the hosts up 23-9 but a baseline jumper from Fairview’s Emilee Carder (8 points) with 40 ticks left accounted for a 23-11 halftime spread.
The Wildcats really revved up the attack in the third period, led — of course — by full-court trapping pressure. They forced another 12 turnovers that led to a number of layups at the other end. Stockwell caught fire with eight markers in the period and classmate Katie Goergens (12 counters, 3 steals) and sophomore Brooke Culp (8 boards, 7 counters) added five each. When Goergens swished a triple from the left side with 17 ticks on the clock, their lead had mushroomed to 45-16.
The Apaches didn’t have quite as many turnovers in the fourth — three — as Hoffman called off the dogs. They just couldn’t shoot straight — 1-of-18. Jefferson emptied its bench as well as it could (only 9 dressed), as did the visitors as the largest lead was the final margin on a basket by sophomore Heather Pohlman.
“I was most pleased with our defensive improvement from our opener Friday. We got burned off the dribble quite a bit and we’ve been addressing that in practice,” Hoffman added. “We were much better keeping things in front of us and that leads to steals. We got into some foul trouble the first half but we got contributions off the bench. As a starter, Rileigh really had a good game.”
Fairview was 5-of-6 from the line (83.3%) and received five points, 15 boards and four blocks from senior Brittany Conkey, one of only two for the Lady Apaches. They added 15 fouls.
The seniorless Wildcats knocked down 10-of-18 freebies (55.6%). Junior Gabby Pimpas had a team-high seven steals, classmate Brooke Hesseling four dimes and 6-1 sophomore Shelby Koenig four blocks. They totaled 11 fouls and will visit Columbus Grove to commence NWC play Dec. 6.
In junior varsity action, the Wildcats also went to 2-1 with a 38-18 whipping.