Sunday, November 27, 2011

Injury Bug Bites South Early.

The injury bug hit Twin Valley South’s Lady Panthers early and hard. It’s not unusual for injuries to take a toll on a team as a season grinds on. Injuries and illness are part of sports and that is where depth can help a team. A team loaded with players can find a fill in for a missing player and move on without missing a beat. But this year South has a young team with only one senior – Angela Newsome and little depth. According to coach Mabry the team dressed 15 players between varsity and JV a week ago but this week could only muster 9 total players. Meaning that the Reserve game had to be cancelled and the varsity team played but it consisted of 5 varsity players and 4 from the reserve team. On the other hand, Carlisle is loaded with seniors and a deep bench. South gave all they could – but there was only so much gas in the tank.

Carlisle played a stingy man to man defense that the Panthers had to work hard against. South played zone defense – mixing in a little trapping at times to try and generate turnovers. But Carlisle moved the ball well in the half court and the trapping had little effect. On the other hand, turnovers would an Achilles heel for South. In the second half alone there had to have been at least a dozen turnovers – due in part to fatigue and also to inexperience – forcing passes where they would be picked off.

Carlisle built a substantial lead at halftime – leading 30-10. There was a brief moment in the 4th quarter where it looked like South might make a run when Kara Mackie scored on 3 successive possessions. But a smothering Indian defense stepped it up and forced some South turnovers into baskets and put an end to that threat. Still South had a bit more respectable second half before finally falling 29-50 in the season opener. Another ray of hope for the Panthers, they were able to get two players scoring in double figures – Katie Strazheim and Kara Mackie.

After the game coach Mabry commented on the turn of bad luck for the players, “Within the last week we had a multitude of things. We basically dressed all the healthy players we had tonight. About a week and half ago we had 15. Over the last week we have had all types of injuries. One kid had a concussion in school, another kid was in a car wreck. It’s one of those things, we came with what we had. I know we really got tired, and even though we had subs it was hard to use them. We didn’t have any varsity subs and the reserve team doesn’t know the varsity plays – we run a different type of offense. We had a lot of turnovers, but a lot of that was from being tired. We forced some bad passes. Angela Newsome is the only girl we have with varsity experience from last year. Katie Strazheim was varsity too, but was hurt and missed last season.”

Scoring for Twin Valley South: Gentry Gates 2; Kara Mackie 12; Angela Nushawg 5; Katie Strazheim 10. South will play Stivers at home on Tuesday and opens league play Thursday with their rival Tri-County North also at home. North also lost their season opener against Northridge 32-43.