LIBERTY CENTER – Liberty Center’s pressure defense held invading Bowling Green to just eight field goals and forced 23 turnovers Tuesday night in the Jungle.
Liberty Center’s stout defense made up for a less than spectacular night shooting, as the Lady Tigers methodically bested the Lady Bobcats 50-18 in high school girls basketball.
Bowling Green was 8-of-35 (23%) from the field and did not make a basket over the final 6½ minutes of the game.
“Their pressure was … well we didn’t handle it early and that got us into bad situations,” said Bowling Green coach Jake Vanneman.
“We got some good looks early, but couldn’t get anything to fall. Then we started turning the ball over every two possessions, and that is not going to keep you in the game.
“Depth is certainly an issue for us, especially late in games,” added Vanneman. “That’s when we start to get tired. Once we start getting one step slower, shots start falling for the other team.”
While the Bobcats mainly used seven players most of the game, Liberty Center freely rotated in 11 players, with 10 making the scoring column.
“We were able to turn them over a lot,” said Liberty Center coach Tim Davis. “But, I didn’t think we were able to get a lot of points off those turnovers. I thought our half-court (defense) was good. That made it tough for them to get good looks, and that was a positive.
“The offense was a different story,” added Davis, whose Tigers were 15 of 43 (35%) from the field. LC was also 17 of 25 from the foul line.
“They (Bowling Green) did a nice job of mixing up their defenses and we didn’t do a good enough job recognizing those defenses. That made the game slow and choppy at times.”
LC led 11-5 after the first quarter and pushed the lead to 21-7 by holding BG to a single bucket over the first 7½ minutes of the second period.
Leading 14-7, Alyssa Giesige scored off a give-and-go play and Molly Perry followed with a 3-pointer. Following a Bowling Green time-out, Bea Barrett capped the Lady Tigers’ 7-0 run with a pair of free throws.
A steal and layup by BG senior guard Syndey Maas with less than a minute remaining made it 21-9 at intermission. The Tigers led 31-15 after three periods and then outscored the Bobcats 19-3 over the final eight minutes.
“I am very happy with the way our defense played,” said Vanneman. “They did not make things easy for them and we were able to keep them off the rim, which stopped them from running up and down a little bit.”
BG (0-7) outrebounded LC 35-31. BG senior post Jamie Sayen paced the Bobcats with eight points. Senior guard Londyn Thompson scored four, Maas scored three, junior guard Lola Thompson scored two points, and junior guard Ashley Knowlton added one point.
Liberty Center (7-1) was paced by Emerson Gray with 11 points and six rebounds and Peyton Armey with eight points. Bea Barrett added six points and six boards, while Gieisge also tallied six points.
This was the first game for the Lady Tigers since their first loss of the season to Springfield.
“BG is really improved from last year,” said Davis. “They play physical and they play hard. They are also well coached.
“To see us come back after a loss, and having to sit on that loss for a week, was big,” added Davis.