PROPHETSTOWN — Blowouts seemed to rule the first day at the 8th Annual LadyProphets girls basketball tournament on Thursday.|
Host Prophetstown (16-1) beat West Carroll 68-20 in their first game and finished off Day 1 with a 61-30 beating of Proviso East in the nightcap.
The Riverdale Lady Rams (12-2) had similar good fortune, taking downHinckley-Big Rockin the first game and finishing off Hiawatha 57-17 in their eveninggame.
Riverdale came out sluggish in the first quarter of its second game, but still came away with a 15-8advantage.It was when the Lady Rams started pressing the Hiawatha Hawks (6-8) in the secondquarter that the game really went their way.Forcing seven turnovers in the second quarter and holding the Hawks to just 2-of-12shooting from the field gave Riverdale a 34-13 advantage at half.
"The press is our key defensively and we force a lot of turnovers," said Riverdale seniorguard Elle May, who finished with 17 points and three steals vs. Hiawatha after scoring 11 points vs. Hinckley-Big Rock. "It's good to have these games to getus back to where we need to be."
The Lady Rams' defense got even better in the second half as they allowed just fourHiawatha points and cruised to the 40-point win.
"We came out slow in the first game from lack of practice," said senior forward HannahNimrick, who tallied a game-high 19 points vs. Hinckley-Big Rock and was all overthe place vs. Hiawatha, putting up 16 points, 13 rebounds, a game-high six assists,three blocks, and three steals. "Our press makes our offense go faster and gives theiroffense trouble. In our offense, everybody can do anything. It gives us a variety and anadvantage."
Said Riverdale coach Mick Kopriva, "We only had one practice in the last week. We hada couple snow days and semester finals and it showed. Our passing wasn't crisp and ourmovement wasn't good. I thought we played terrible, but we are starting to get back intoit."
Prophetstown rested its starters for much of the second half of the first game vs. West Carroll, but found they had their hands full in the second half vs. theProviso East Lady Pirates.
The Lady Prophets led Proviso East 2-1 with 3:52 to play in the first quarter whenthe switch flipped and the light came on with a pair of 3s and a glut of free throws asProphetstown's aggressive offensive attack drew plenty of Proviso fouls.
It was 17-1 after the first quarter and 42-13 at half with the Lady Prophets pouring iton behind senior Cassie Reiley (12 points) and sophomore Corrie Reiley (game-high14 points, six steals, three assists, and countless forced jump balls), who gave the LadyPirates backcourt fits all night.
"We work on defense everyday and I just watch the ball instead of the (ballhandler),"said Reiley in explanation of her defensive success.
"She was having fun out there," said Prophetstown coach Don Robinson of the youngerReiley. "She is pesky (on defense) and she was penetrating and finding people withbounce passes (on offense)."
Despite the halftime deficit, Proviso East wasn't about to give up. The Lady Pirates rana full-court press in the second half that kept the Lady Prophets starters struggling to getthe ball down the court. Prophetstown had just a 19-17 advantage in the second half, evenwith the starters playing until just a few minutes remained.
"We lacked defense and intensity in the first half," said Proviso East coach EzraPridgeon, Jr., whose team dropped to 4-8 with the loss.
Pridgeon had plenty of praise forthe Lady Prophets, saying "They are a very aggressive and fundamentally sound team. Patient.Hungry."
Orion wins twice: Orion continued to charge ahead with a 59-38 victory over West Carroll and a 49-21 thumping of Proviso East. In the matinee, Cassidy Clark poured in a game high 33 points against West Carroll. Baillie McCunn added another 14 points for the Chargers in that game.
Orion faces Prophetstown tonight at 7:30.
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