Girls basketball: Pressure defense lifts Hawks past Wolves

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Harris-Lake Park couldn't overcome a slow start or solve Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn's pressure defense, faltering 58-45 in a high scoring girls basketball showdown on Monday, Jan. 13 in Hartley.

"We came out slow once again," said Harris-Lake Park assistant coach Becca Bolda. "We seem to get in a hole in the past few games right from the start and then it's so hard to dig out of that. I think at one point they had the lead by 10 or so in the first quarter and we were only able to put up six the whole quarter. We fought back and played really aggressive the second quarter and went into half with a close game of 28-21."

The Wolves only lead came at 4-0 even though they made several spurts to get back into the game.

The Hawks forced four turnovers during a 10-0 spurt that put them ahead 10-4 three minutes into the first quarter.

After HMS jumped ahead 15-6 at the conclusion of the opening frame, the Wolves stopped the bleeding for a short period and pulled as closed as 18-14 after Noreen Morrow knocked down a free throw line jumper.

The Hawks, however, went on a 7-0 surge to jump b ace ahead 25-14.

The Wolves chipped lead down to 25-21 with 20 seconds left in the first half when Miranda Brueggeman drilled a 3-pointer, but HMS's Jailyn Rieck answered with a basket of her own from beyond the arc.

H-LP pulled as closed a four points twice in the third quarter, but Jessica Stofferan sparked a game-changing 14-0 run with two 3-pointers that extended the Hawks lead back up to 48-30 early in the fourth stanza.

The Wolves got triples from Brueggeman and Mariah Gath in the final four minutes to pull as close as 52-45 before Taylor Sweeney and Katie Mills each knocked down a pair of foul shots to put the game away.

"We were very off with our free throws, only making 4 of 15. If we could have finished those alone we would have won the game," said Bolda. "We came out so strong in the third quarter for about five minutes and then for some reason backed off a little. We played an aggressive fourth quarter, but weren't able to pull the win out losing, 58-45. It was (head coach) Jenni (Spooner's) first game back, so we are all happy to have her back and is nice to have the other half of the coaching staff at the games and at practices again."

Noreen Morrow led the Wolves with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Miranda Brueggeman collected nine points and Kathern Ihnen finished with eight points and seven boards. Mariah Gath also had eight points.

The Hawks were 13-of-20 at the charity strip and got double digits in scoring from Mills (15), Stofferan (14) and Sweeney (12).

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