|Lady ’Cats, Lancers advance to Chatt finals; Wildcat boys fall|
|Monday, December 31, 2012 11:19 AM|
In a girls barnburner, the Lady Wildcats (4-6) had to survive both cold shooting from the field (16-of-63 for the night, 2-of-12 long range, for 25.4%) and the foul line (14-of-32 for 43.8%) to grab the win.
“We had a hard time hitting baskets. At first, we were a little too quick with some shots,” Jefferson mentor Dave Hoffman said. “As the game wore on, we slowed ourselves down some and took better shots by moving the ball around to open spots against the zone but we still struggled to hit anything consistent. Our free-throw shooting didn’t help; we could have gotten back quicker or built bigger leads through the game if not for missing free throws.”
Jefferson needed to overcome a height disadvantage as well versus the Lady Jets, with three girls 5-10 or bigger, and thus a rebounding mismatch of 47-30.
It came down to the fourth period, where the Lady Wildcats had a 36-29 deficit to crawl out from to begin the last eight minutes.
“We didn’t match up well with them size-wise but we were quicker. Us going to the half-court trap was the difference,” Hoffman continued. “We anticipated well and really forced them to go quicker than they wanted; we got some turnovers that led to easy baskets and made thigns easier for us offensively. We still missed a lot of easy shots and free trows but the girls could easily have quit at any time as bad as things were going. They stuck with it mentally.”
Fairlawn shot much better from the floor — 18-of-45 (44.4%) — and 7-of-14 from the line (50%). Haley Slonkosky led the Jets with 16 markers and added 10 boards and Megan Dudgeon also had 10 boards.
The Red and White placed three in double digits: junior Gabby Pimpas with 14, junior Hannah Sensibaugh 13 and classmate Rileigh Stockwell 10.
The Wildcats struggled against the sagging 1-3-1 matchup zone employed by the Jets in the opening period, shooting a lot of jumpers over the top and not getting a lot of baskets. Their own mix of man-to-man, 1-3-1 zone and 2-3 zone didn’t really allow the bigger girls of the Jets to dominate on the block, though they did have troubles on the glass.
Jefferson (4-6) garnered an 11-5 lead after one but the Jets outscored them 16-9 the second period to take a 21-20 edge.
The second half, Jefferson began to put Stockwell at the free-throw line, which enabled her or anyone else Hoffman put there to get to the basket and draw fouls, getting Fairlawn into deep foul trouble as the game wore on.
Still, the Jets managed to keep the lead and took that 7-point edge into the finale.
“That was the second key for us the second half; getting the ball to some quicker girls at the high post and letting them penetrate to the basket. We were either getting baskets or free throws,” Hoffman added. “We survived a game like this. Again, we stayed with it when things were going badly and fought our way out of the hole.”
The Lady Lancers (7-2) had a much easier time of it in the opener, taking advantage of great ball movement that led to 50.9-percent shooting (28-of-55, including 4-of-6 3-balls) and a defense that forced 26 Lady Panther turnovers.
“These girls are so unselfish; they don’t care who gets the points. We make a living on forcing turnovers; that is when we play our best,” Lincolnview coach Dan Williamson noted. “It gets us into an aggressive mentality, which is how we have to play to be effective, and it creates easier shots for us.”
For Parkway head coach Lynn Hughes, turnovers were the story.
“That is a lot of possession that get you nowhere; that’s that many less shots we get,” she explained. “We have to learn to take care of the basketball because a lot of those turnovers led to transition looks. Not only does it help them beat us down the floor offensively but we struggled to get back on defense anyway.”
Katie Dye led the Lincolnview effort with 16 markers and eight assists, adding four boards and four steals, while Claire Dye added 12 markers (6 boards, 4 thefts) and Kaitlyn Brant (7 boards, 3 blocks, 4 steals) and Hannah McCleery 10 counters each.
Sierra Fent was high scorer for the Panthers (2-7) with 10 markers (7 caroms, 4 blocks, 3 steals) and Cami Hellwarth and Terra Walls (6 boards) added eight each.
Both teams wanted to push the tempo and they combined for 12-of-29 shooting the first period. Katie Dye dropped in 10 and Brant six in the period as the Lancers led 20-12 after one after Fent hit a short shot at 1:10.
Fent scored six for the host team and Hellwarth four.
Lincolnview kept up its scoring pace and the Panthers could not keep up, especially with the Lancers forcing 12 errors. That led to a lot of transition attempts and a 38-20 edge when Julia Thatcher (5 steals) hit a basket with 11 ticks left.
Lincolnview’s quickness and excellent balance offensively, as well as their defense and rebounding against the bigger Panthers, continued to take command in the third stanza. When Hannah McCleery laid one in with 6.1 ticks on the board, they ran their lead to 53-28.
“We had been off eight days and I was concerned we’d have some rust. After the first couple of minutes, that went away; we got it back quickly from how we were playing before Christmas,” Williamson added. “Katie Dye really sets the table for us in so many ways; she is our instigator. She gets us into transition, she plays great defense with her quickness and distributes the ball. Kaitlyn did a great job defending their bigger people inside; that was our second concern with their size. I felt we defended and rebounded well.”
In toto, Lincolnview added 6-of-13 singles (46.2%); 31 rebounds (13 offensive); 17 errors; and nine fouls.
“This has been a common theme this year; we showed glimpses but not for a long time,” Hughes added. “We can’t sustain anything for long. We have a couple of good possessions but then have a number of possessions that get us nothing. We’re trying to work hard on everything but it’s a slow process.”
In sum, Parkway finished 13-of-49 shooting (0-of-4 triples) for 26.5 percent; 7-of-10 freebies (70%); 33 caroms (15 offensive); and 13 fouls.
They play Fairlawn 3 p.m. today.
In the boys side, Jefferson head man Marc Smith knew what his team was getting into.
“We wanted to play these guys. We knew from scouting them that they were very quick and athletic and that they were,” Smith noted.
“We didn’t match up with them, so we played our 1-2-2 one most of the way to try and neutralize some of that.”
That zone helped Jefferson (1-6) force more outside shots and it did seem to work — for a while. Still, there was too much Bally Butler (19 counters), Brad Steimle (12) and Bradley Nelms (11; 11 boards, 4 assists). Those three combined for 13 of the 16 Cincinnati points in the opener as they led 16-9 on a 3-ball by Rodrigo Williams with 7.1 ticks on the clock.
Jefferson’s Zach Ricker dropped in seven of his team-high 14 for the Red and White in the canto.
The Wildcats tried to stay in the game by getting to the basket as the game wore on, hitting 13-of-22 free throws (59.1%) versus 5-of-6 for Finneytown (83.3%). Still, they kept falling farther behind as the Finneytown quickness took its toll, leading to a 10-point lead late in the second before junior Ross Thompson (11 markers, 10 boards) put one back with 52 ticks on the board.
That trend continued in the third canto: the Red and White simply not being able to dent its deficit. This time, it was Steimle who netted eight points to lead the way. They led by 15 four times before Delphos closed within 42-30 on a free throw by freshman Trey Smith with 29.9 ticks showing.
Cincinnati maintained a double-digit lead throughout the fourth period, leading by as much as 18.
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