By Nick Gonnella Daily News
Greensburg Daily News
---- — The North Decatur girls basketball team hoped to upset Class 2A’s sixth-ranked team Saturday, but Knightstown simply was too quick and too experienced. The visiting Lady Panthers beat the Lady Chargers 64-60.
“We felt this was a great opportunity for us to make a statement on what type of team we can be this season,” said North head coach Brad Bryant. “We felt this was one of many games that we will play this year that we call a 50/50 game. We have a lot of great competition on our schedule this year, and this was just another game that we knew would be a tight one to the very end.”
Bryant said North found itself in a familiar situation against Knightstown, which improved to 7-0. The Lady Chargers had trailed Batesville by 18 points in the first half, only to battle back and cut it to two early in the fourth quarter. North had to play hard and play smart against South Decatur for 32 minutes – plus overtime.
“Knightstown was the same type of game,” said Bryant.
The coaches were pleased with North’s play for most of the game, except for the third quarter. The Panthers outscored the Chargers 23-14. Bryant noted excessive fouls on defense, a problem that yielded a 23-for-32 mark at the foul line for Knightstown.
On the bright side, North shot 11-for-15 from the stripe.
“We did a good job when we were there, but we just didn’t get there enough,” said Bryant. “However, the number-one thing on our scouting report was Knightstown’s ability to put the ball on the floor and attack the basket. They did it the entire game. We just did too much reaching and then did a poor job of getting our help there to keep them from getting to the rim. All-in-all, though, I can’t complain again about our effort. It was there for 32 minutes. Knightstown is a very good team.”
Bryant credited Knightstown for neutralizing sophomore guard Mary Hughes, who scored just one point Saturday.
“They did a really good job of taking Mary Hughes out of the game,” he said. “She worked hard throughout the game and did a good job of getting the ball to people, but it was hard for her to find her shot against their size and quickness at the guard position.”
Senior Andrea Volk provided a bright spot for North. After uncharacteristically struggling with her shot early in the season, Volk scored 17 against Knightstown. She hit four 3-pointers and shot 3-for-4 from the foul line.
Senior Anna Wallpe added “another very solid performance,” according to Bryant, with 16 points. Senior Alison Wallpe added 10 points, senior Abby Lamb chipped in eight and senior Emma Geis added seven.
“If we can find our consistency on the defensive end once again, we will give ourselves much better opportunities to win,” said Bryant.
After just four games, North has seen big scoring games from several spots (Anna Wallpe 20, Volk 17, Lamb 16, Geis 10, Ali Wallpe 13, Hughes 11).
“We have a lot of people who can score,” he said. “When we get that consistency from everyone, we will be a hard team to guard - plus the fact that we can score from inside and out. I like the potential we have.”
Despite the loss, Bryant said his team is coming together and learning more about itself each game.
“Unfortunately, we were not able to come out on top, but I think our girls are learning a lot about themselves here early in the season,” he said.
North next hosts Oldenburg Academy Thursday night.
Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.