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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ansonia Over North

Although North was winless coming into the game, they gave the Ansonia Tigers all that they could handle for 4 quarters in a heated battle at the Tri-County North gym.  North closed the gap to two points late in the third quarter, but Ansonia was able to fend off several North runs down the stretch and walk out of the gym with a 58-63 win to snap their 5 game losing streak. 

Interestingly, both coaches shook up their lineups in an effort to jump start their teams in the first quarter. And Ansonia freely substituted; at times using a Kentucky-like line change where 4-5 players were exchanged on the floor.  Finally, both teams utilized a variety of offensive and defensive sets in an effort to gain an advantage.  Ansonia used a zone, man to man, and even pressed the Panthers on defense. But the difference was in the inside game where North found it hard to stop the Tigers.

In the early going North had the upper hand, ending the first quarter with a 3 point advantage. But about midway through the second quarter, Ansonia went into a press which got them some turnovers.  They then went on a 9-0 run to get the lead.  North countered with a half court trap of their own.  Which slowed down the Tigers, but North was giving away second chance shots on the defensive boards and went into the locker room down 34-28.

In the second half North had to play catchup.  They made several good runs, but were never able to regain the lead.  In the third quarter Ansonia was pressing but North was beginning to make them pay for it.  They pulled to within 2 at the 3:10 mark where Ansonia took a time out to call off the press and slow down the momentum for North. 

But that was as close as North would come in the second half.  In the last quarter, North attempted to rally several times but couldn’t close the gap.  Senior Cody Cordes, who came off the bench,  scored 16 of his game high (and personal best) 19 points in the second half.  He had one sequence where he took the ball to the hoop for a layup to score, then raced to the other end to take a charge – he was a whirlwind on the court against the Tigers.

“Our effort tonight was the best effort we have had all season, commented coach King after the game, “This week we had a good week of practice.  The message this week was that we have to rebound and play harder to be successful.  The guys stepped up their game tonight, but we just couldn’t get stops on defense.  We couldn’t hit 3 point shots when we needed them down the stretch. “

Cody Cordes, “He shot his personal best tonight. He’s been a senior leader.  Now I sent a message earlier by not starting him.  I thought he wasn’t playing up to his potential. But he got that message loud and clear tonight.  He responded well – like a senior guard should.”

The next night North had to travel to Brookville where both the girls and boys teams played.  The girls fell 40-29 and the boys team trailed Brookville the entire night before falling 53-37.  TCN Sophomore Zach Edgin had a hot hand in this game scoring a game high 19 points. Next week North faces league leading Tri-Village and Preble county opponent Preble Shawnee.

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