Class A No. 2 Cats pounce on Falcons, 77-47

HAMLET — Everyone who steps on the floor opposite Oregon-Davis knows what they’re going to do; they’ve been doing a long time.
The problem is finding a way to stop the ICGSA Class A No. 2 Lady Cats.
OD used its signature fullcourt trap to create havoc against John Glenn early, forcing 10 turnovers in the first frame while jumping out to a 16-0 lead and never surrendered the advantage once in a 77-47 rout of the visiting Lady Falcons on their home court at The Den Tuesday night.
“They executed what we wanted to do — get off to a good start. That’s what we had to do, to put some doubt in their minds as far as our press,” said 20th year Lady Cats skipper Terry Minix. “I know obviously everybody knows that’s what we do, we press. Everybody works on it so we wanted to get off early and make sure they understood that maybe that press is a little bit tougher than they thought.”
“You spot any team that many points you’re going to struggle the rest of the thing. This is the best team in the state at getting up early,” said Glenn coach Kyle Amor. “They bring the intensity every time. We were expecting it, we prepared for it, but some of that stuff you can’t simulate at practice.”
OD opened the contest with 16 unanswered points before Glenn ever got going. Trailing 25-12 at the first quarter break, the Lady Falcons closed the gap to single digits twice in the second frame as they began to work their press break, but the Cats found an even higher gear to close out the half on a 12-1 run and take a 43-21 cushion into the intermission.
Exacerbating Glenn’s early turnover woes, the Falcons found themselves in foul trouble early as OD pushed the ball in transit and drew five fouls in the first three minutes alone, converting 6-of-8 free throws in the first period.
Glenn sophomore guard Natalie Shetler was benched with her second infraction less than a minute into the contest, complicating the Falcons’ ball-control issues even further, while fellow starter Loren Vukovits was whistled for her second foul at the 6:03 stop, and replacement Hannah Strange earned her second foul less than a minute later.
“I think within the first two minutes we had six fouls, maybe less than that. When you put one of our ball handlers like Natalie in foul trouble early it takes a little bit to find ourself,” said Amor. “Did we take some charges that probably should have gone our way? Quite possibly, but they are that physical a team and you’ve got to meet that intensity or sometimes the ref will go with the more physical team and the kid that turns away and shies away from the contact, it’s going to be a foul on them.”
While teams expect the Lady Cats’ swarming ball pressure, the larger Glenn lineup was surprised by OD in the battle of the boards as the home team out-rebounded the Falcons by a sizable 44-28 margin.
Leading the way was junior forward Haley Collings, who pulled down an eye-popping 19 rebounds while putting up a career-high 24 points — she went 5-for-5 from the floor in the second quarter alone — in her third straight game in double figures.
“Haley Collings, what can you say about a kid like that? Just unbelievable. She’s a warrior, and every game in the last three or four games she’s been just getting better and better,” said Minix.
“I think the confidence came from the Michigan City game… She understands that she has to score, she’s capable of scoring and rebounding against kids that are bigger than her. I think that was a big turning point. A light came on there and then we went over and played Triton and she did the exact same thing over there.”
Meanwhile for OD, Ashley Campbell put up a near double-double of 17 points with nine assists, while Alicia McIntosh finished with 11, and Jesse Avarone put up nine points despite sitting out stretches early in foul trouble. Freshman Lexi Minix helped power the OD defense in the halfcourt, racking up four steals and numerous deflections while putting up six points, and junior Kendra Sauer also had a productive night with eight points as OD won its third straight since dropping its first two games at the Texas Roadhouse Holiday Classic at South Bend Washington Dec. 27 and 28.
“Kendra Sauer came in and gave us some great minutes. Lexi played probably one of her better games. She had a ton of steals, was very, very aggressive… she just controls the tempo a little bit for us,” said Terry Minix.
“And when you’ve got Ashley, Jessie and Alicia, the big three, they’re just unbelievable. And Lincy Jones came in and gave us some good minutes. All in all, it was a good team win. We’ve just got to keep rolling and not be happy with a 30-point win against John Glenn. We’ve got to get better every day at practice.”
Glenn was paced by sophomore Kyler Columbia’s 15 points with three steals and two assists. Shetler finished with 12 points, while Katie Dreesen clutched five rebounds with two assists to go with three points, and senior reserve Dillyn Schleg played a strong supporting role with two assists and four points.
The Lady Falcons slip to 11-3 with their first consecutive losses of the season after Triton snapped Glenn’s 11-game win streak at home in Bourbon last Friday.
“Ultimately I told them don’t hang your heads on this one,” Amor said. “It’s not a conference game, it’s not a sectional opponent. It helped us prepare for what we’re going to see in the first round of Bi-County next week. And that’s all it was. We saw what we are capable of; it’s kind of a measuring stick. We’ve got some room to make up for on that measuring stick, but our girls will respond. That’s just their personality.”
OD improves to 12-3 on the season and will look for a measure of revenge against Sectional 51 foe Argos at home Thursday.
“We played them last year over there at their place. We played without Jessie because she had actually gotten hurt in the John Glenn game last year, and they kind of drilled us by 20 points,” Minix said. “They’re very good, they’re big; we’re just going to need to do what we do. If we rebound, if we run the floor, our press is working and we hit free throws we can compete. I’m not going to say we’ll win every game we’re in, but we can compete with anybody.”
At Hamlet
Score by quarters
Glenn: 12 21 34 47
OD: 25 43 59 77
GLENN (47): Carah Ochs 7, Kyler Columbia 15, Dillyn Schleg 4, Natalie Shetler 12, Katie Dreessen 3, Hannah Strange 4, Erin Patterson 2; Totals: 18 6-9 47.
OD (77): Ashley Campbell 17, Alicia McIntosh 11, Jesse Avarone 9, Lexi Minix 6, Haley Collings 24, Kendra Sauer 8, Lincy Jones 2; Totals: 29 16-24 77.
3-pointers: Glenn 5 (Ochs, Columbia 3, Shetler), OD 3 (Campbell, McIntosh, Averone); Rebounds: Glenn 28 (Dreessen 5, Strange 5), OD 44 (Collings 19); Turnovers: Glenn 22, OD 14; Steals: Glenn 5 (Columbia 3), OD 20 (Minix 4); Assists: Glenn 8 (Columbia 2, Dreessen 2, Schleg 2), OD 16 (Campbell 9); Fouls (fouled out): Glenn 16, OD 13 (Minix).
Records: OD 12-3, Glenn 11-3
JV score: OD 37 (Taylor Kranenburg 11), Glenn 26 (Ashley Burnett 10).