WALKERTON — Triton’s girls basketball team churned out a couple of big numbers that mitigated a small one Friday night.
The Class A No. 5 Trojans ripped down 26 offensive rebounds, forced 24 turnovers, and overcame a 26-percent performance from the field — 16 of 61 — en route to a 40-27 Northern State Conference win over John Glenn at The Aerie.
For the game, Triton, which snapped a three-game skid, piled up 20 second-chance points and 17 points off turnovers, while holding the Falcons to a mere 21 tries from the field.
“We had a good defensive effort,” Triton head coach Adam Heckaman said of his team’s 1-3-1 zone. “Our defense was the big difference in the game. We weren’t hitting shots in the first half, then in the second half we were able to create our offense out of it. We were able to pressure (Glenn) and get them in positions where they didn’t want to be.
“Sixteen of 61, obviously, is not a good percentage,” he added. “But when you get 61 shots because you rebound your own miss, eventually you’ll get the ball in the basket. That’s where our offense came from — second chance and fast break.”
Glenn’s own 3-2 zone pushed Triton out to the perimeter where it misfired on its first 21 attempts from 3-point range and wound up 1 of 24 overall from behind the arc. However, the Trojans out-rebounded the Falcons 36-23.
“I knew that was going to be a possibility,” Glenn head coach Kyle Amor said of his team’s rebounding woes. “We’ve only got two people under the basket. Our guards, instead of turning and looking, have to get to the basket when the shot goes up. We have to find someone and box out. (Triton) took the shots we wanted them to take, but we let a good team get second, third, and fourth opportunities.”
Junior guard Shana Anderson scored nine of her game-high-tying 11 points in the fourth quarter for the Trojans, including the team’s first and only triple of the contest with 2:47 left in the game. She provided her other bucket on a second-chance score that gave Triton the lead for good, 8-6 with 7:27 left in the first half, as part of a 14-4 run that handed the Trojans an 18-10 halftime lead.
“I give this group credit; they’ve gutted out a lot of wins this year,” Heckaman said. “They keep finding ways to win. They invent ways to win, and as long as they do that, I’ll be happy.”
Triton senior center Megan Howdeshell chipped in 10 points, nine boards — seven on the offensive glass — and a pair of blocks.
Also for Triton, Breanna Lemler secured seven rebounds, and Mallorie Jennings added two assists and two steals off the bench.
“I thought Mallorie Jennings and Krystal Sellers came in and gave us a lot of energy when we needed it,” Heckaman said. “They both did a good job tonight.”
Six-foot freshman center Loren Vukovits tied for high-point honors with 11 points and five rebounds for Glenn despite limited opportunities in the paint.
“Loren Vukovits is a rising talent,” Amor said. “She’s becoming a major part of our team, and our girls need to recognize her as a go-to player. Her size and her length create matchup problems. She played a pretty good game even though we didn’t get the ball to her very much.”
Meanwhile, the Falcons struggled to solve Triton’s 1-3-1 zone. The Trojans pressured the wings and jammed up the post, forcing a slew of turnovers in the process.
“They did an excellent job of taking away the inside where we thought we had an advantage with our size,” Amor said. “I think everyone was waiting around for someone to make a play. Everyone was waiting for Erin Patterson to have another 20-point game, or for Kyler (Columbia) to have another 20-point game.
“We waited around too long,” he added. “Even when we were down 13 we were still waiting. We need people to step up and make plays.”
Also for Glenn, freshman guard Columbia knocked down a trio of treys for nine points, and Carah Ochs pulled in six rebounds and dished out a couple of assists.
Both teams are back in action Tuesday; Triton hosts New Prairie, while Glenn welcomes Oregon-Davis.
• TRITON 40,
JOHN GLENN 27
Score by quarters
Triton: 6 18 25 40
Glenn: 6 10 16 27
TRITON (40): Kaelyn Mason 1 0-0 2, Taylor Hatfield 1 4-4 6, Breanna Lemler 2 0-0 4, Krystal Sellers 1 2-2 4, Kylie Mason 1 1-2 3, Mallorie Jennings 0 0-0 0, Shana Anderson 5 0-0 11, Megan Howdeshell 5 0-2 10. TOTALS: 16 7-10 40.
GLENN (27): Natalie Shetler 1 0-0 2, Carah Ochs 0 0-0 0, Kyler Columbia 3 0-0 9, Dillynn Schleg 0 0-0 0, Shelby Tetzlaff 0 0-0 0, Hannah Strange 0 1-2 1, Loren Vukovits 3 5-7 11, Sarah Traversa 0 2-2 2, Erin Patterson 0 2-2 2. TOTALS: 7 10-13 27.
3-point goals: Triton 1 (Anderson), Glenn 3 (Columbia); Turnovers: Triton 10, Glenn 24; Rebounds: Triton 36 (Howdeshell 9), Glenn 23 (Ochs 6); Assists: Triton 6 (Jennings 2), Glenn 6 (Ochs 2); Steals: Triton 7 (Jennings, Anderson 2), Glenn 1; Fouls (fouled out): Triton 13 (none), Glenn 8 (none); Records: Triton 9-3 (3-0 NSC), Glenn 3-10 (0-4 NSC).