Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Sports

January 30, 2013

Lady Chargers fall to Spartans

The North Decatur varsity girls basketball team found out that a victorious return from Southwestern (Shelby) just wasn’t in the plans Monday night.

The Lady Chargers fell into a tie for third place in the Mid-Hoosier Conference with a 58-42 loss to the Lady Spartans.

North jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but the Spartans scored the next eight points and led 14-10 after the first quarter.

“To start the game, I thought we did a great job of controlling tempo, which is what we wanted to do,” said North head coach Brad Bryant. “They are a team that wants to play extremely fast and chaotic. We wanted to try and take them out of that style.”

Bryant noted the momentum change for SW-Shelby “established for our players the thought of how quickly they could put points on the board.” The game remained close up until the latter half of the second quarter, and North began to flounder offensively. Empty North possessions led to quick scores for Southwestern, and a 29-21 halftime advantage.

“We had at least three possessions where we came down and made one or no passes and took a shot,” said Bryant. “To start the second half, we continued our carelessness by committing two turnovers to start the half, and we quickly found ourselves down 14 points. That stretch of the game was really the difference.”

Bryant credited the Spartans and its standout player, Annie Thomas, who scored 20 points on the night.

“Southwestern has a very good team,” he said. “Annie Thomas is probably about as good of a player we see during the season. Her quickness gave us a lot of problems. On a few rebounds she snuck in and just took the ball from our post players once they thought they had secured a rebound. Her quickness on the perimeter also was a problem for us. What you do on a normal night you could not do around her. How you adjust to that I am not sure. You play one way for 18 games, and then all of a sudden you have this special type of player like her, and you just can’t adjust. There were many passes that we usually get away with, but around her we did not. She just got to so many things. However, I did think that Cindy Krieger did an outstanding job of defending her. Thomas ended up with 20 points, but I think they were mostly hard earned points. Cindy was physical with her and did a pretty good job of matching her quickness. And, with Cindy’s length, I think she did a good job of challenging many of her shots.”

North outscored Shelby 12-11 in the third quarter, but the Spartans closed out the game on an 18-9 run.

North falls to 11-8 overall and 5-2 in the MHC.

Senior Jenna Meyer scored a team-high 26 points. Scoring four apiece were senior Cindy Krieger and junior Anna Wallpe. Juniors Andrea Volk and Abby Lamb each added three, while junior Myra Steele chipped in two.

“I thought our effort was there, and I thought our kids wanted to go out and get a good road win, but it just wasn’t in the cards tonight,” said Bryant.

As the sectional tournament looms, Bryant gauged the improvements his team needs to make against Monday night’s performance.

“It was a good game for us to still see some things we need to clean up before going into sectional play,” he said. “To win a sectional, we have to be solid for 32 minutes. Our sectional is going to be a tough one to win. We start out with Switzerland County, who has played some good basketball since the start of the new year. South Ripley has had a great season. Southwestern Hanover is much better than their record shows. They play a tough schedule. Then you have Austin, who has had a great season. They have been ranked as high as No. 2 in Class 2A, and I think they are currently fourth in 2A.”

Before the postseason begins, though, North will face a dangerous and talented team when its hosts conference rival South Decatur Thursday. A win over the Lady Cougars will cap the MHC mark at 6-2 and force a second-place tie with Shelby and Eastern Hancock.

“It is a must win for us,” said Bryant. “Our South Decatur game will be a battle. No matter what kind of season you are having...you throw out the records. South would like nothing more than to come in to our gym and walk out with a win. This is a great game for us to play before sectional play. It is also our Senior Night.”

North will be honoring its four seniors - Krieger, Meyer, Lindsay Nobbe and Veronica Yager - and the team manager.

“Hopefully, we will have a great crowd to give it that sectional feel,” said Bryant.

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