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Friday, January 23, 2009

North Defense the Difference Against Dixie
J. C. Tilton
On a day where most students had the day off, two teams were hard at work this past Martin Luther Kings day. The North girls basketball team has been riding a wave this season and have had only 3 losses. Seniors Sara Whittaker and 4 year starter Rachael Heindl and freshman Mallory Ullery have been factors in the teams success. Dixie had been playing .500 basketball, but was riding a losing streak that they wanted to break.

Both teams were sluggish as the game began. The North defense was generating turnovers, but no buckets. Coach Music from TCN speculated that the day off may have gotten the girls out of their groove. But in the last minute or so of the half North finally caught fire and went on a 10-2 run to open up a 14-5 lead.

North used their press to help keep Dixie off balance and get them out of their game. They went to a spread offense to try and open up opportunities to cut to the basket. Dixie played mostly man to man, mixing in some zone. For their part, North got their points from driving to the basket or by shooting from the outside. Dixie had a tough time getting any consistent offensive production against the stiff North defense. Although Kayla Bertke was a bright spot for Dixie - scoring in double figures again. Also the Dixie defense was tough inside. Limiting North’s post player Ullery to just 4 points.
However, Dixie could not find a way to halt Rachel Heindl who is fast closing in on 1000 career points. This was her second game in a row where she would score 21 points. Dixie did make a 6 point to run to start the third quarter and the fourth quarter. But just as things would start to get interesting, North would press the gas and pull ahead. In the final minute North went into a slow down and then rode home with a 53-40 victory.

“We were clicking on Saturday night against a decent Ansonia team.” Said Coach Music from Tri County North, “But tonight nothing was working. But it was a win and we’ll take it. Our press and transition really helped us tonight when our set offense wasn’t working. Both of our senior guards have come up big for us several times this season and both Heindl and Whittaker did well.”
Scoring for TCN: Mullins 2; Errin 8; Bierly 8; Ullery 4; Whittaker 10; Heindl 21.
Scoring for Dixie: Seim 5; Kneisly 9, Ruppert 2, Neaves 1, Bertke 11, Rader 7, Thompson 5.

The JV contest was a close game with North edging Dixie 28-25. Scoring for TCN: Whittaker 12, Broughton 2, Shrier 6, Cruse 1, Mullins 10. Dixie: Brannon 3, Purcell 4, Landis 5, Rader 6, Bates 6, Camper2.

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