Strong Third Quarter Propels Manchester Lady Dutch Basketball Over Comets

By: Seth Kinker,

The Manchester Lady Dutch Girls basketball team, 6-1 (3-0), overcame a slow first half in their first game back from winter break to defeat the Hanover Horton Comets, 5-1 (2-1), 53-37. 

Both teams looked like they had just come off a break, with turnover filled play from both sides early. Halfway through the first quarter the score was only 2-2.

“We were making some unforced turnovers, our passes weren’t really crisp in the first quarter,” said Manchester head coach Corey Fether. “A little winter break rust. It’s like we were going thru the motions out there running our offense.” 

Lady Dutch senior guard Avery Collins then went on a 7-0 run by herself, to force a Comet timeout trailing 9-2 with 1:48. She led all scorers with 23 points, adding four rebounds and three assists. 

After the first quarter the Lady Dutch led 11-5, making her debut shortly after the 7-0 Lady Dutch run was freshman forward Mia Steele, who joined varsity over winter break after beginning the year on junior varsity. 

“She’s ready to help,” said Fether on the decision to bring up Steele. “Contribute a few minutes here and there. She scores in the post. Get it down low and it’s in the basket. She can give us a big presence in the post.”

Steele had three points in her varsity debut and her height affected shots defensively. 

Over the last five minutes of the second quarter; senior guard Mackenzie Pietryzk, Collins, and junior guard Taryn Fether all drew fouls on made layups driving to the basket. 

A Collins pull up baseline jumper with 18 seconds left put the Lady Dutch up 23-12 at halftime.

The score was much lower than many halftime scores this season with the Lady Dutch constantly looking to pish the pace, the Jan. 10 match up was a combination of sloppy play and stingy defense. 

The Lady Dutch have made a habit of having a strong third quarter and this game was no exception. An 18-8 quarter put the Lady Dutch in control, up 41-20 after three quarters. 

That’s our M.O.,” said Fether. “That’s when we come out, put teams away and show then who’s boss. We did and picked up intensity o defense, didn’t allow second chance points, I was really pleased with our defensive effort.”

Junior guard Natalie Bargardi added ten points to follow Collins with a team high five steals. Senior forward Jayden Humphrey led the team with 14 rebounds, including 11 defensive rebounds, and also had a team high five assists.

At the fourth quarter buzzer the score was 53-37, putting the Lady Dutch in second place in the Cascades conference behind only Michigan Center, who they face Jan. 25. Up next for the Lady Dutch are the Trojans of East Jackson on Jan. 17. 

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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