Times Staff Reporter
The Greencastle girls' basketball team used early outside shooting and a solid press break to earn an impressive 55-41 road win against Northview Tuesday night.
Tiger Cub junior guard Mallory Miller lit up the Knight defense in the first half, scoring 18 of her game-high 25 points. Miller did great damage from behind the stripe, hitting four 3-pointers in the first two quarters of play.
The Knights ended the first half with the momentum however, as Lauren Webster hit a running jumper as time expired, to cut the Greencastle advantage to eight at 29-21. Webster led Northview in scoring with 15, while Kelsey Searing led the team on the boards, hauling in 10 rebounds.
Northview stayed with Greencastle for the duration of the third period, but were never able to establish any momentum. A large reason for the Knights' inability to take control of the game came from the Tiger Cubs ability to consistently handle the Northview press, generating easy lay-ups. Coach Bradley Key said he prepared his team to handle such a pressure filled defense and was happy with the results.
"We really talked about making fundamental passes," Key said. "We did a great job of slowing things down and looking diagonally."
The most debilitating moment for Northview occurred in the final minute of the third quarter. After seeing their lead trimmed to six, Greencastle scored two quick buckets in the closing moments of the third period, and would never lead by less than double-digits again.
The loss coincided with an even bigger personnel loss for the Knights. It was their first game without Emily Phillips, who Coach Lu Anne Anderson called the team's "best defensive player." Phillips landed awkwardly after a jump shot in practice last week, and is believed to have torn her ACL. She is scheduled for an MRI today, which Anderson expects to confirm she has, in fact, suffered a season-ending injury.
Anderson said she thought many of her team's defensive struggles were a result of players learning new positions to fill the void left by Phillips' injury. Despite a sub par showing Tuesday, she expressed confidence her players would adjust to their new roles with time.
"I think the girls can step up with time," Anderson said. "We had girls out of position a lot tonight, but with time, they will get better."
The win moved Greencastle to 7-5. Key said he was very pleased with his team's effort in their first game since returning from winter vacation, and was optimistic they would show continued improvement as the season progressed.
"We really wanted to get off on the right foot in the new year and we did," Key said. "We've got some big games coming up, and I think we're on the right track. Tonight was a good team win."
Anderson said her squad, which fell to 4-7, had to put the ugly loss of Tuesday behind them and focus on making the necessary adjustments needed to move on without one of their leaders.
"I told the girls this game is done and over," Anderson said. "Right now, we just have to take a step back and evaluate what we need to do to get better."
In JV action, a smothering Northview defense paved the way for a 33-13 win. Trailing 12-9 at halftime, the Knights held Greencastle to a single point in the second half. Kylie McKee led the Northview scoring attack with eight points. Taylor Pruitt was the top scorer for the Tiger Cubs with six.
Nobles 2 0-0 4, Burgeson 1 0-0 2, Nichols 2 0-1 4, Samuels 5 1-2 11, Babington 2 0-0 4, Wainman 2 1-2 5, Miller 8 4-6 25, Deer 0 0-1 0
Conrad 1 0-0 2, Sharton 0 3-4 3, Sampson 3 0-0 6, Webster 7 0-0 15, Searing 2 0-3 5, Carter 1 0-1 2, J. LaTourette 2 2-2 6, D. LaTourette 1 0-0 2
3-point field goals -- GC 5-12 (Nobles 0-3, Babington 0-1, Miller 5-8), NV 2-15 (Conrad 0-2, Sharton 0-2, Webster 1-6, Searing 1-4, Carter 0-1). Total Rebounds -- GC 33 (Samuels and Babington both with 7) NV 29 (Searing 10, Sampson 5). Team Fouls -- GC 14, NV 17. Turnovers -- GC 21, NV 11.