Greensburg Daily News
The North Decatur girls basketball team cut down on its turnovers, passed the ball efficiently, and created scoring opportunities throughout Thursday night’s road game against non-conference Oldenburg Academy.
However, mistakes that North did make turned out to be costly in a 44-43 setback to the Lady Twisters. Despite committing just 17 turnovers, North gave up the ball in four of its last five possessions.
North led 39-33 with just under three minutes left.
Head coach Brad Bryant emphasized the importance of possessions down the stretch. He noted that the team watched film from the South Ripley game before Thursday’s contest, where he pointed out two specific possessions. He compared them to the possessions late in the loss to OA.
“In the first half of the South Ripley game, we had a possession where we made 34 passes that led to a score,” he noted. “In the second half, we had a possession where we made 24 passes that led to a nice score. Throughout the film, I kept showing how our patience and ball movement and making that extra pass led to some great scoring opportunities. Throughout tonight, we had some possessions like that, but not enough. From that point on, we just didn’t have very good possessions offensively.”
Bryant put Thursday’s loss in perspective afterward.
“Obviously, I am not happy with losing 44-43, but I am happy with the fact that I think we are trending in the right direction. But, more importantly, I hope the girls realize it too. When you look at our last three games, yes, we are 1-2, but we played a good first half against Knightstown, a complete game against South Ripley, and then tonight, we played a lot of good minutes. People need to realize that OA is a good team. Tonight we did a good job of taking care of the basketball.”
Two struggles that concerned Bryant were free throws and hustle points. North shot just two free throws, while OA shot 15.
“We are not that bad of a shooting team from the free throw line, but we are not getting there enough. I don’t know what happen tonight. I have my opinions, but we only shot two free throws to OA’s 15. You just can’t win games if you don’t get to the free throw line. I thought we did a pretty good job of getting the ball in the lane and to our post players, but some reason we couldn’t get to the line.”
Bryant credited OA sophomore guard Kirsten Ricke for setting the tempo of her team’s offense and hustling.
“One area of concern for me tonight was the area of hustle points,” said Bryant. “I just didn’t feel like we were very quick to loose balls. OA has good quickness, especially in Kirsten Ricke. We just didn’t do a good job of trying to equal her speed and desire when it came to hustle plays. Kirsten just brings a lot of energy to their team. But, like I said, I think we are getting there. The kids are listening and learning. We have two good tests once again next week. Eastern Hancock has a very good team that brings a lot to the table. They do a lot of different things. They have two girls who can really score. One of their girls had 30 a few nights ago on seven 3-pointers. Then next Thursday we see a much improved Lawrenceburg team who will play as hard as any team we see.”
Bryant pointed out the bright spots of the game, namely the performances of senior Jenna Meyer and junior Andrea Volk. Meyer ended with 20 points and eight rebounds, while Volk helped fuel North’s offense with three treys in the first quarter, and a two-point score.
“Jenna played her heart out once again tonight. That’s what I appreciate about her,” said Bryant. “She brings it every night. Andrea Volk really helped get us going tonight. She ended the night with 13 points. She has been working hard on her shooting. Tonight, early on, she shot the ball with confidence.”
Bryant noted North’s success in cutting down turnovers, as the Chargers committed just 17. North also improved its shooting, which was nearly 45 percent.
“All in all, I like what we are doing,” said Bryant. “I hope my girls keep their heads up and stay focused on the positives that are happening because there are plenty of them. The wins will come. It is how we are playing in February that matters.”
Following Meyer’s 20 points and Volk’s 13, junior Anna Wallpe scored six and freshman Mary Hughes added two.
Score by quarters
ND - 15 23 33 43
OA - 9 21 29 44
Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.