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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Shawnee Defense Too Much for South

It has been a tough season for both Twin Valley South and Preble Shawnee’s girls basketball teams.  Shawnee had been fighting injuries all season and had only gotten back to full strength at the end of season.  Only to have the flu bug take away 3 players for their previous game against Dixie. South did not have the services of post player Gentry Gates due to injury.  Both teams entered the season finale looking for a victory to give them a boost before the state tournament begins next week.

Defensively both teams began with zone defenses.  It quickly became apparent that part of Shawnee’s strategy was to put a lid on the South inside game by double teaming Katie Strazheim who was South’s remaining post player.  At the other end of the court Shawnee was getting points in the paint and quickly ran a 14-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.

South went to a man to man defense in an effort to stem the tide.   But Shawnee continued to hit their shots,  Cheyenne Edwards had a good quarter – hitting several layups and short jumpers.  Turnovers would plague South throughout the game.   And a good many of those turnovers became Shawnee points as they took advantage of the gifts.  It was hard for South to create any offense. Their outside shots were not falling while the inside game continued to be frustrated.

In the second half Shawnee mixed in some zone and man to man defense to keep South off balance.   At the end of the third quarter they still had a healthy lead 36-20.  South went to a press in an effort to make up the difference.  They made up a little ground, but Shawnee would have none of that and did some half court trapping and some pressing of their own.  The pressure became too much for South to handle and Shawnee ran away with the lead and the ball game, winning 50-31.

“We just didn’t come out ready to play”, Commented South coach Mabry, “we talked about it at halftime and said we are putting out a lackluster effort. We like to have these nights where we play all day basketball against another school.  But every time we just aren’t ready to play.”

On not having Gates, “ When we have Gentry Gates and Katie Strazheim in there they complement each other. When you have two threats in the post it helps us out. Every time Katie got the ball tonight, they doubled down on her.  It definitely took out an option that we like to have.”

Shawnee coach Joe Webster, “Aggressive defense is what it comes down to - being able to trap and put pressure on the ball. Our goal was to double down on their post player and trap their perimeter players anyplace we could.  We had a lot of steal and goes – that’s what the traps do.  Courtney Lakes had 20 points, Cheyenne Edwards had 14 points, and Sidney Brown had 11.  “

He continued, “Coming into this week we had to practice with 4 and 5 kids because of the flu bug. But we have been down a good part of the year with injuries.  Lakes was out for 7 games, she just came back full strength last week. Steele went down the third game of the year, she was out until the 13th game.  This has been the first game where we came out and did what we do. “

State Tournament matchups: Next week TVS plays Covington at Brookville High School at 2pm. Shawnee plays Hamilton Badin at 5pm at Monroe High School

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