Pioneers flip switch offensively in 42-19 win

Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Okoboji head coach Abby Goodlaxson diagrams a play in the huddle during a time-out in the second half of a 42 -19 victory over Trinity Christian Dec. 13 in Milford.

Okoboji was matched score for score by Trinity Christian in the first half, but the Pioneers powered to a lopsided 42-19 victory with a reenergized effort after the break.

"I thought the girls kind of came out flat. I don't know if that was because it's Monday or it could have been a million other things, but I think we played a lot better in the second half," said Okoboji coach Abby Goodlaxson. "We outscored them 27-5. The girls were most impressed about the third quarter since we've been struggling coming out of the half, and then they finished in the fourth."

The Pioneers trailed by as many as four points in the first half, before an 18-footer by Mary Eckard opened up a 15-14 advantage at the half.

After scoring the final five points of the second quarter, Okoboji extended the run to 15-0 after halftime. Paisley Jones converted two baskets and Faith Bartlett sank a 3 from the left wing to open up a 25-14 lead.

Trinity Christian ended nearly a nine-minute scoring drought with 1:46 left in the third, but the Pioneers stormed ahead 29-18 with two more quick hoops.

Okoboji's duo of Skylar Hansen (22) and Faith Bartlett (30) trap Trinity Christian's Karina Heynen in the backcourt during the second quarter of a 42-19 win Dec. 13 in non-conference play.

Okoboji surged to a 13-1 spurt to end the contest, getting three transition buckets from Taylor Poppema. She led the way with 13 points and 12 steals. Jenna Johnson splashed home a 3-pointer with 1:32 to go to finish off the scoring.

"We talked a lot about our intensity level at halftime. I told them don't worry about turnovers or missed shots, just go out and attack the basket," said Goodlaxson. "We changed up their offense with that 1-3-1 (zone), but also missed 18 bunnies tonight. The girls were paying a lot of attention in the time-outs and that's always good to see as a head coach."

The Pioneers forced 18 turnovers primarily off their press in the second half and only committed 10. Defensively, Okoboji forced 24 miscues and and limited TC to 22 percent shooting.

Okoboji's Shelby Nielsen scores in the paint during the early stages of a 42-19 win over Trinity Christian Dec. 13 in a non-conference affair.

The inside duo of Paisley Jones and Skylar Hansen chipped in nine points and eight points, respectively. Jones and Poppema combined to score 15 of their team's 27 points in the second half.

"Our posts did a good job and that's what we've been working on a lot in practice is boxing out and getting a second shot," said Goodlaxson. "Hopefully the girls can continue to do well down low and stay aggressive."

The Pioneers (3-4 overall) look to keep making strides with a home games versus Central Lyon Thursday and a road trip to Rock Valley on Friday to conclude the first half of the 2010-11 season.

"We'll just keep working on fundamentals -- pounding that at them," said Goodlaxson. "The main thing that you want is to get better by the second half of the season, not only in games but in practice as well."

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