Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

January 10, 2013

North girls support coach in victory

Nick Gonnella
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — The North Decatur varsity girls basketball team played just like its head coach has seen them play all season - a full effort for four quarters - in a 49-33 win over visiting Morristown Tuesday night.

Head coach Brad Bryant saw his team respond to adversity as the team dedicated the game to his wife, Karmin, who is in an Indianapolis hospital for ongoing medical reasons.

The Lady Chargers rallied in support of her and recorded a conference win, improving to 7-6 overall and 3-1 in the MHC.

North senior Jenna Meyer opened the scoring with a 3-point play. Meyer tallied the first four points of the game, and junior Abby Lamb sank a pair of 3-pointers to put North up 10-0 after the first eight minutes.

“We had a nice solid quarter to start out,” said Brad Bryant. “Tonight was business as usual, holding an opponent to a low scoring output. I’m always proud of our effort defensively.”

Morristown outscored North 12-7 in the second quarter. Meyer and junior Anna Wallpe hit back-to-back scores to go back up by seven, 17-10. The teams entered the break with North up 17-12.

“We were a little bit flat in the first half,” said Bryant. “We needed to come out and press a little bit more and play with more energy, and push the ball in transition.”

Junior Andrea Volk began the second half with a score off a turnover. Meyer scored 15 third-quarter points, including another 3-point play that put North up 34-23.

Senior Cindy Krieger, in her second game since returning from an injury, gave her team its largest lead at 43-26 with a pair of baskets. Meyer and Wallpe wrapped up the scoring with their team’s final six points.

Meyer led North with 25 points. Junior Anna Wallpe added 11 points, including nine in the fourth quarter. Krieger added five and junior Andrea Volk chipped in two.

North shot 9-for-15 from the foul line, while Morristown shot 10-for-20.

North’s third-year head coach actually arrived in Greensburg just a half hour before the varsity tipoff.

“They didn’t even know if I was going to be here, because I didn’t know if I was,” he said of joining the team right before game time. “I worry about the emotional impact of this. I talked about corralling those emotions and try to find a way to use them in a positive way.”

Bryant said his wife’s stay in the hospital has affected not only his family, but the players and coaches. He expressed gratitude to Amy Land, North’s junior varsity and varsity assistant. Land coached both the JV and varsity games against Indian Creek in Bryant’s absence last week.

“It’s been a change of routine for her, to be responsible for everything,” he said. “I told her, ‘it’s yours. You know what needs to be done.’ I know it’s a challenge for her.”

He also credited coach Phil Nobbe, and coach Jeff Steele for adjusting his work schedule to help out.

Bryant recalled the metaphor of an extended family using the power of prayer, and “just having faith in each other and coming together” for support.

“It’s an entire team effort,” he said. “On a small scale, this is a microcosm of a team coming together during a hard time.” He also acknowledged parents who contacted him to reach out.

Win or lose, Bryant encourages his team to look back on the experience as a life lesson.

“When you take the situation that my wife’s in, the abundance of support, being there for each other and being there for me, that’s a life lesson within the game,” he said. “I hope there were a lot of other things than just X’s and O’s and basketball games.”

Bryant emphasized his gratitude toward the team afterward.

“I want to say how much I appreciate our girls and the way they responded,” he said. “It just makes you feel good about them.”

The junior varsity Lady Chargers beat Morristown 25-18. Alison Wallpe led her team with 13 points. Morgan Nobbe scored five, Laura Haunert scored four and Sam Krieger added three.

North hosts Greensburg (6-8) Thursday (tonight), with the JV game tipping off at 6 p.m.

Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 633-3111, x7003.