Fast-break combined with size in post lead to Lady Bears' win

Madison Trimpe played a big part in the Lady Bears' win over Tri-County on December 12. Trimpe ended her night with 14 points and six rebounds.

Coming off a lesser performance, the Lady Bears of English Valleys wanted to find their stride when they hosted the Lady Trojans on December 12. The offense and defense were able to put in a complete effort for most of the night, which resulted in a 49-16 win.

For the first few minutes neither coach had anything to be happy about. Tri-County's defense held firm but their offense couldn't find the hoop on the other end of the floor. The same was true for E.V. with the defense forcing some turnovers and not allowing Tri-County to find any open shots. The Lady Bears drew first blood with an offensive rebound, which was put back in by Madison Trimpe.

From there on, the objective was to get the ball into either Trimpe or Audrey Grove's hands. Both had a favorable size matchup against their defenders. In addition to scoring points in the paint, the Lady Bears were able to execute on the fast-break. E.V. had a minor 14-2 lead after the first quarter of play was over.

"It was really important to get the ball to Grove and Trimpe, others teams know about them and will start to concentrate their defense on them," Lady Bears coach Becky Becker said. "For us to have some patience offensively and still get them the ball, that's huge for us."

The Lady Bears were able to run their offense for a majority of the remainder in the half. Quick ball rotation and the movement of girls without the ball led to open opportunities for E.V. to increase their lead. The girls did just that, putting up 10 more points while their defense gave up two points, making the score 24-4 at half.

The trend continued in the second half, with some consistent scoring coming from E.V. while forcing Tri-County to turn the ball over. The third quarter was capped off with a mid-range jumper made by Sydney Olson, which left her fingertips to beat the buzzer. At that point the score was 37-6.

Tri-County finished the night off strong, scoring in double digits in the fourth quarter, one of their best points spurts in as short a time this season. The Lady Trojans knocked down a couple three’s and was able to get to the free throw line by staying aggressive in the post. An occasional shot, accompanied by some free throws, gave Tri-County a boost to end the night. E.V. just barely edged out Tri-County in the final quarter, which ended with a score of 49-16.

"I would give our rebounding a B- or C+," Becker said. "We gave up too many offensive boards. We didn't attack the ball and we waited for it to come to us, we're a better rebounding team than that."

Grove and Trimpe continued to be big factors on both ends of the court, combining for 26 points and 10 rebounds. In addition, Grove had five steals and three assists, while Trimpe had one steal. Karyssa Westfall led the Lady Bears with four assists, while Olson finished with a team-high six steals. The combined efforts from those that attempted a shot led to a 50 percent shooting night for the Lady Bears.

All but one of the Lady Trojans were able to find their way on the scoresheet, with Allison Steinke leading the way with four points. Steinke also had a team-high eight rebounds and two assists, to go along with three steals and one blocked shot. Riley Danner and Hannah Miover had three points apiece and combined for six rebounds. Skyler Fisher had more of a presence on the defensive end, and wound up with four steals and four rebounds.

English Valleys traveled to Colfax-Mingo on December 15, while the Lady Trojans were also on the road against North Mahaska.