BERLIN CENTER – In the vast majority of cases, scoring 34 points will not secure a team a win at the varsity level nine times out of ten, especially on the streets.
On the other side of the coin, if those same teams keep their hosts under 30, including just a single point in the fourth quarter, then it’s a good job.
It wasn’t the nicest win, but Springfield gritted his teeth and rang in the new year with a 34-24 triumph at Western Reserve on Monday night.
The Tigers have now had nine straight wins, although their 34 points were their lowest total all season.
What matters most when a competition is physical with so few buckets made? Control of the offensive glass. Rebounds led to senior Jacey Mullen scoring 22 points Monday night, who is now averaging 18.5 points per game.
“She just fights, I wish everyone could see the movie like we do, the shot goes up, she’s at the three-point line and she’s getting a rebound.” said Tigers coach John Matisi. “She always comes in, she’s just so aggressive.
“That’s part of our offense, we just assume she’ll have offensive rebounds and be able to reset her.”
The Blue Devils (6-4) led at times in the first quarter but had no advantage over the scoreboard after Brooke Schantz hit a shot to put their team 8-7 ahead.
Springfield (9-1) went into the dressing room 17-15 at halftime, but Mullen came out with a click in the second half and scored a quick six points to help her team maintain their lead, despite junior Lindsay Jones some Good eyes were drawn by Western Reserve, including a huge three-pointer that tied the contest with 23 points.
That’s as close as it gets, with a mix of Madi Lesnak and Mullen outselling their opponents 9-1 in the fourth quarter.
“Most of my points just come from rebounds, getting in there and working hard. I think when I came in here I knew they were a team that boxed and got rebounds, so I knew I had to work harder than them, had to use moves. said mullen. “It’s a lot of contact so it really helps to be able to come in and practice knowing it’s going to be a pressure game, there’s going to be contact, going into practice and being able to work through the contact.
“I think it’s very motivating to know that once you get into your groove we have to win, that I have to go. Once we get those points it’s like we regain some of our confidence, we gain some motivation, we know we can do it.
It’s the fifth contest this season that Springfield has held a team under 30 points, but the Tigers knew keeping Brooke Schantz in check would be easier said than done. They held them to five points in the first half.
“This week we’ve been working on speaking and moving, always communicating, we never want a person not to know what’s going on.” said Lesnak.
“When we were just seeing the end results of some games and points, we worked on knowing where (Schantz) was at all times and just kept moving and stuff to stop them from not having that much ball.”
Lesnak scored seven goals, with Matisi highlighting Ava Vecchione’s post-contest defensive performance. Jones advanced the Blue Devils with nine and Alyvia Hughes scored eight.
Western Reserves coach Steve Miller saw flashes of solid play from his side on the defensive end of the ground itself, but was disappointed with the offensive flow.
“They did a good job of coming back, we didn’t do a good job of searching the bottom up. You might have liked to get some cheap ones to transition, but neither team did.” said Mueller. “I was disappointed that I thought we had a lot of breakdowns where we messed up tasks offensively without knowing where to go and it resulted in some turnovers.”
“Credit to them for getting us out of the flow of things but I was pleased with how we treated Jameka (Brungard) defensively, last year she hurt us but Jacey outdid us so you have to do something against everyone . ”