Defense leads Central girls to victory

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After coming down with a rebound, Gracie Cummer looks for an outlet pass during Central’s win over the Blue Devils. (Photos by Bev Hamann)

Delaney Scherf takes the ball up the court against West Central. The Warriors won the game 42-36.

Grace Kuehl surveys the floor in last week's game against West Central.

Alyson Feickert defends a West Central player.

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register

 

It was a rough shooting night for the Central girls basketball team in last week’s match-up against West Central, as they struggled to find the range in the first half. But the Warriors started to pull away after halftime, behind a swarming defense and timely conversions on offense, building a double-digit lead. 

 

Then, despite a furious comeback attempt from the Blue Devils, Central was able to string together enough stops on defense and baskets on offense to stem the tide and secure the 42-36 victory. 

 

“As you can see from stats, we did not shoot the basketball well from the field. We had opportunities in transition and didn’t convert on shots in the paint along with some ill-advised passes. This being said, defensively we did an excellent job of limiting second chance opportunities and getting rebounds,” said coach Mark Wiley. 

 

The stat he referred to is Central’s 21.2 percent shooting from the field, which saw the team make 11 of 52 shots and just four of 16 three point attempts. 

 

However, the Warriors were aided by numerous Blue Devil fouls, which gave them 27 free throw attempt—16 of which the Warriors made. 

 

Leading the offense was Haley Frieden, who scored 18 points while adding 10 rebounds, one assist, two blocks and two steals. The only other player to make more than one shot was Lexi Loan, who scored a season high nine points. Loan also had six rebounds and one steal. 

 

One thing the Warriors did well on offense was rebound, as they finished the game with a season high 21 offensive rebounds, which led to multiple possessions and more scoring opportunities. 

 

But where the Warriors really shined was on defense, where their press forced 25 turnovers, 14 steals and three blocks. 

 

“This is proof that our offensive game might struggle during some games, but our defensive pressure and resilience on the defensive end of the court cannot waver,” Wiley said. 

 

The Warriors will look to continue their winning ways this week, taking on Clayton Ridge (3-11) at home on Jan. 18. They will then go on the road to North Fayette Valley (7-3) on Jan. 21.

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