The North Decatur girls basketball team played a game of two halves Tuesday, but defeated host South Ripley 60-43.
“For the first 16 minutes, we just couldn’t get our act together,” said North head coach Brad Bryant. “The tone seemed to be set from the tip when we got the tip and went the wrong direction.
Bryant noted that the Lady Chargers were not assertive enough in using North’s strengths to their advantage.
First, North did not get the ball to its 6-footers underneath, seniors Anna and Alison Wallpe.
“We just didn’t feel like they could guard us on the inside at all,” he said.
Bryant was confident North could not be guarded off the dribble.
“The problem was, though, we took six three’s in the first quarter and didn’t hit any,” he noted. “We didn’t get Anna Wallpe many touches in the first quarter, but when we did, she was able to score.”
Wallpe scored six points in the first quarter.
“We need to do a better job of recognizing things like this and play to it,” he added.
North trailed 27-25 at the break.
Bryant showed the shot chart to his team at halftime. North shot 8-for-13 in the paint and just 1-for-8 from the perimeter.
“That’s not hard to figure out,” he said. “In the second half, to our kids credit, we did a MUCH better job of driving the ball to the basket and getting it to Ali and Anna.”
It worked as Ali Wallpe scored 10 points in the third quarter and Anna Wallpe scored eight more, “continuing her good play.”
Both Wallpes also controlled the rebounding and combined to shoot 8-for-8 from the foul line (Ali 6-for-6, Anna 2-for-2).
Bryant said he was pleased with how North responded in the second half.
“Our zone did a good job of forcing a lot of perimeter shots from South Ripley,” he said. “Our zone was active and we did a better job of rebounding out of it than we had done in previous games.”
Anna led North with 20 points, while Ali followed with 14. Sophomore Mary Hughes scored eight points. Sophomore Samantha Krieger scored six points, while senior Andrea Volk scored four points (2-for-3 FT’s).
“Samantha Krieger did a much better job of playing under control and making good decisions tonight,” said Bryant. “It was nice to see her get six points for us. She gives us good quickness on the court.”
Returning from an ankle injury suffered against Batesville was senior Myra Steele, who scored two points.
“Her experience and ability to play all five positions adds to our depth,” said Bryant of Steele.
Senior Emma Geis hit 2-for-2 from the foul line, and junior Laura Haunert chipped in one.
“Laura Haunert again gave us some very good minutes off the bench,” said Bryant.
North continued its solid shooting from the foul line, hitting even better than its 70 percent season average, with 13-for-16 (82 percent).
The coaching staff was able to give playing time to several players Tuesday.
“I like our depth a lot,” said Bryant. “We are team that can be very big, small and quick and can press a lot, and a team that can shoot the ball well from the perimeter.”
North next hosts Oldenburg Academy, starting with a 6 p.m. JV game tonight (Thursday).
Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.