Wolves snap 4-game skid with win over Generals
The Harris-Lake Park girls basketball team snapped a four-game losing skid that spanned the holiday break Monday with a 63-48 non-conference home win over Sibley-Ocheyedan.
Harris-Lake Park coach Andy Irwin said he was happy to see his team come out on top after losing four games by a combined 25 points.
"I think, just for the confidence of the girls, they played close in a lot of these games, it gets sort of frustrating when you work so hard for something and you lose close ones," Irwin said. "I think it's just real nice for them to get that one. And they played a complete game. They played all four quarters well. That's something that we've really tried to work towards. We're real happy with it."
Harris-Lake Park jumped out to a 5-0 lead on a layup by Jazmin Voehl and a three-pointer by Blake Gunderson and held on for a 14-11 lead after one quarter of play.
In the second quarter, Sibley-Ocheyedan went on a 6-2 run to take a 17-16 lead, but the Wolves ended the quarter on a 17-0 run to lead 33-17 at the half.
"We just told the girls that, even if their shots aren't falling, you've got to keep shooting," Irwin said. "You've got to be confident, and they'll start falling. We really started hitting our shots there. And we also found a little something that worked for us and we stuck with it. They executed it really well and that helped us get some points there."
After struggling on the defensive glass early on, the Wolves started to dominate the boards and used their rebounding and defense to key a fast break that was too much for the Generals to handle.
"That was one of the things we talked about at the quarter break was, they play a lot of girls up high, so it's hard to rebound when they're crashing the boards," Irwin said. "You really have to look for that and move your feet as the ball is in the air. That worked out really well for us. Also, when they crash the boards like that, it gives us the opportunity to look at the fast break."
The second-quarter surge was the difference in the game, as the Wolves maintained their lead the rest of the way, leading 49-31 after the third quarter before salting away the win in the final stanza.
With the win, the Wolves improved to 3-9 overall on the season. They returned to action Tuesday night at home against South O'Brien. Their next action will be Friday on the road against Clay Central-Everly.
Irwin said he is excited to see his team continue to improve through the rest of the regular season.
"We just want to continue to get more and more confident in our shooting," he said. "Also, we've started to put in a few wrinkles that we can use. We started to put in a little full-court pressure if we need to. We do a couple of different things defensively and we've got a couple things offensively that we can do that we've put in through the year. I think we've been building on what we have and I think that will help us through the remainder of the season."