BOURBON — Triton coach Adam Heckaman said his Lady Trojans weren’t scared of NorthWood’s size, but that size is what won out in the end anyway.
Six-one senior Savannah Bley and 5-11 junior Morgan Olson combined for 47 points and 30 rebounds and impressive 19-of-31 shooting from the field, and Class 3A No. 3 NorthWood’s inside game helped the Lady Panthers take a win from the Class A No. 6-rated Lady Trojans in a match-up of ranked teams Tuesday at The Trojan Trench, 59-51.
“They knew the options they had,” said Heckaman. “They knew that they could take advantage of us in the paint, which they did in the first half. We adjusted well in the second half. They are a good team. We took it at them. The girls weren’t afraid to take it at them. We got to the line 26 times, we just have to convert more of them.”
NorthWood jumped out to an 11-4 lead early to build a lead that they would keep for the rest of the game.
The first quarter was dominated by Bley as she scored 10 of her points without missing a single field goal. Triton fought to stay in the game as Kylie Mason hit a couple of 3s to make the score 17-11 after the first quarter.
It was more of the same in the second quarter as Bley dropped another nine and Mason hit two more 3s, and NorthWood was still ahead at the half 31-24. Triton made adjustments to take Bley out of the game in the second half, while NorthWood coach Steve Neff turned to Taylor Fielstra try to take Kylie Mason out the game defensively.
“Fielstra came in the second half to play defense on 22 (Kylie Mason),” said Neff.
“She had a nice ball game even though it won’t show up on the stat sheet.”
To counter this move, Taylor Hatfield started taking the ball to the basket.
“Mallorie Jennings drove and got Kylie some open looks in the first half, and she stepped up and knocked some 3s down for us,” Heckaman said of the adjustment. “They surrounded her and started face guarding her. Taylor sees these openings, and she drives because she knows she is not going to get any help on her. They played well together and used their defensive tactics against them and took advantage.”
Even with the adjustments, it wasn’t enough as the Panthers were able to keep the margin steady, leading 46-37 after three quarters.
Olson went 6 of her 21 in the third, and it was more of the same in the fourth quarter as the Trojans were never able to quite close the gap.
“We kept ourselves around. We just couldn’t make that big bucket to get us over the 5-6 point margin” said Heckaman.
Northwood came away with a win, but not completely satisfied.
“Good to get a win even though we have some things to work on,” said Neff. “Triton is a nice team, and it was good for us to play a game like this. The last couple were blowouts and this showed us that we have some things to work on. Triton moves the ball around a lot, and we had to play a zone. They will wear you out. A lot of production from Bley and Olson, but it could have been better.”
It was a good test for both teams. Triton is now 3-2 and will travel to Bethany Christian on Nov. 26. NorthWood is 3-0 and will host Penn on the Nov. 27.
• NORTHWOOD 59, TRITON 51
Score by quarters
Northwood: 17 31 46 59
Triton: 11 24 37 51
NORTHWOOD (59): Maddie Schwartz 0 0-0 0, Jordyn Frantz 3 3-4 10, Savannah Bley 11 4-5 26, Inger Yoder 0 0-0 0, Taylor Fielstra 1 0-1 2, Taylor Stutzman 0 0-0 0, Morgan Olson 8 5-6 21; Totals 23 12-16 59.
TRITON (51): Allie Kann 0 0-0 0, Taylor Hatfield 6 6-12 19, Breanna Lemler 0 1-4 1, Krystal Sellers 0 4-4 4, Kylie Mason 5 4-6 19, Mallorie Jennings 4 0-0 8, Hannah Jennings 0 0-0 0; Totals 15 15-26 51.
3-pointers: NorthWood 1 (Frantz), Triton 6 (Mason 5, Hatfield); Turnovers: NorthWood 12, Triton 10; Rebounds: Northwood 42 (Olson 17, Bley 13), Triton 29 (Jennings 9); Assists: NorthWood 14 (Frantz 4, Olson 4), Triton 7 (Hatfield 2, Sellers 2, Mason 2); Steals: NorthWood 4, Triton 5 (Hatfield 2); Fouls (fouled out): Northwood 16 (none), Triton 15 (none)
Records Northwood 3-0, Triton 3-2