By: Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Manchester Lady Dutch Girls basketball team (2-1) downed the Onsted Wildcats (2-1) in non-conference action on Dec. 11, hosting the Wildcats and winning 43-34.
After a close first half, the Lady Dutch pulled away early in the second half and hit their free throws down the stretch to come out with the victory.
The Lady Dutch opened the game on a 7-0 run, forcing the Wildcats to call an early timeout less than two minutes in the game.
After the quarter, the Lady Dutch led 13-6.
AS the first half went on, the Wildcats began to hit their shots, and break the Lady Dutch press, cutting the Lady Dutch halftime lead to 21-19.
In the first half, the Lady Dutch full court press caused six turnovers for the Wildcats and many other tips. A huge part of the 1-3-1 three quarter court trap defense that the Lady Dutch run is senior guard Mackenzie Pietrzyk. She is at the top of the zone and pressures the initial ball handler and stays in the frontcourt. This leads to many tips, steals, and outlet passes from teammates for easy transition buckets.
Mackenzie Pietrzyk (12) defends Meadow Robinson of Onsted.
“She’s always in control, she’s never like running onto the ball out of control,” Manchester head coach Corey Fether said of Pietrzyk. “Her hands are always in the passing lanes and her anticipation has gotten so much better.”
“We weren’t doing a good job of stopping the ball on the left side,” said Fether of the Wildcats success breaking the press late in the first half. “And they were taking advantage of that. For some reason, we struggled.”
At halftime, Fether told the team to keep shooting, they were earning the shot opportunities, they just had to fall.
An 11-7 third quarter gave the Lady Dutch a 32-26 lead heading into the final frame. The Lady Dutch started the quarter on an 11-2 run to seize control of the game and were able to play at their own pace down the stretch.
“We have been coming out in the third quarter and starting every third quarter well,” said Fether on the trend. “We did it last year, we’re doing it this year. That boost gets us and then we coast to the finish, hard to keep that intensity for the whole second half, but it’s nice to come out and get the lead.”
Lady Dutch senior guard Avery Collins had seven of those 11, finishing second on the team in scoring with 12 points. She also had six rebounds.
With the pace of the game in favor of the Lady Dutch, they were able to slow the game down for much of the quarter.
In the last frame, the team went 9-11 from the free throw line to end the game with a win, 43-34.
Senior Jayden Humphrey was the other top scorer for the Lady Dutch, with 11 points. She also added a team high eight rebounds and had five steals too.
The Lady Dutch open conference play on Dec. 13 at Vandercook Lake.