LAKEVILLE — A lot can change in nine weeks.
When Oregon-Davis first took the floor at Triton in early November, the Lady Bobcats were essentially an eighth-grade team with virtually no returners from last year’s Sectional 50 championship campaign, and the Trojans handed them their first loss in two years.
The names and the faces were the same, but there were few other resemblances between the Class A, No. 4 Bobcats that hit the hardwood in that game and the one that played Triton Thursday.
OD freshmen Ashley Campbell, Jesse Averone and Alicia McIntosh wreaked havoc on the Triton defense as the four-peat Bi-County champions opened 16-3 in the game’s first five minutes, then remained poised during a third quarter run by the Trojans for an eventual 59-38 Girls Bi-County Basketball Tournament semifinal win at Dale E. Cox Gymnasium.
“They’re a different team,” said Triton head coach Adam Heckaman. “When you have freshmen playing on your team in the first game of the year, they’ve got a learning curve, and they’ve learned. They did a nice job out there; Terry does a great job with his girls over there. And they just keep rebuilding every year.”
“They had beaten us the first game of the year, and they were still eighth graders the first game of the year from last year, and they didn’t realize high school ball,” said OD girls basketball head coach Terry Minix. “I told them, ‘Hey, now let’s show them we’re playing high school ball.’ And they came out with a little bit of an attitude and a little bit of a chip and played very good defense.”
That swarming press-and-trap defense — which has become synonymous with OD girls basketball under Minix’s watch — held Triton to 2 of 7 shooting in the first quarter as the Trojans yielded more turnovers than shots and gave the Cats a 19-8 lead headed into the first quarter break.
All total, OD parlayed 22 Triton turnovers into 28 points and held Triton to under 28 percent field shooting while allowing only single digit scoring from the Trojans in two periods.
After the initial shock, the Trojans regained composure in the second stanza to cut OD’s lead to 31-23 by the half, then cut that lead even further to just six points twice in the third quarter as Aundrea Sellers completed an old-fashioned three-point play on an Allison Thacker steal and fast break to bring the score to 35-28 at the 5:06 stop, and Shana Anderson hit a wing trey off a Megan Howdeshell inside-out assist to pull Triton to 37-31 at the 4:05 mark of the quarter.
But the gap never got any slimmer as the Cats slowed down the tempo and closed out the game 21-7 for a chance at a fifth straight Bi-County championship Saturday.
The Bobcats will take on Class 2A, No. 8 Culver — which handed Argos a convincing 59-34 win in the other semifinal Thursday — in a clash of ranked programs with very different styles in the girls Bi-County championship at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at LaVille.
• OREGON-DAVIS 59,
At Girls Bi-County Basketball Semifinal at Lakeville
Score by quarters
Triton: 8 23 33 38
OD: 19 31 45 59
TRITON (38): Lindsay Ganshorn 0 0-0 0, Shana Anderson 4 2-3 12, Hannah Downing 0 0-0 0, Emily Duff 2 2-4 7, Taylor Hatfield 1 0-01 2, Megan Howdeshell 0 0-0 0, Aundrea Sellers 2 1-3 5, Sarah Stichter 1 2-2 4, Allison Thacker 2 2-4 8; Totals: 12 9-17 38.
OD (59): Jesse Averone 6 1-6 15, Ashley Campbell 8 2-4 21, Justyne Kranenburg 1 0-0 3, Alisha McIntosh 4 3-5 13, LeeAnn Meyer 1 1-2 3, Katie Schwenk 0 4-8 4, Kristie Taylor 0 0-0 0, Ali Stout 0 0-0 0; Totals: 10 11-51 59.
3-point goals: Triton 5 (Thacker 2, Anderson 2, Duff), OD 8 (Campbell 3, McIntosh 2, Averone 2, Kranenburg 1); Turnovers: Triton 22, OD 16; Rebounds: Triton 30 (Howedeshell 8), OD 45 (Averone 14); Steals: Triton 8 (Thacker 5), OD 14 (Campbell 5, Averone 5); Assists: Triton 6 (Thacker 2, Howdeshell 2), OD 9 (Campbell 3, Averone 3); Total fouls (fouled out): Triton 19 (none), OD 16 (none); Records: OD 12-3, Triton 7-8.