Danes Show Improvement in Loss to Peyton
February 8, 2012Fountain Valley School
The scoreboard showed a 10-point loss for the Danes Tuesday night, but the story is much more exciting than that. FVS led Peyton for nearly 3/4 of the game. It wasn't until there was 1:48 to go in the third quarter that the Panthers tied it up.
"We played our most complete game of the season thus far," head coach Paula Walter said. "That fact is encouraging for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is evidence that we are still improving. These girls are still all in at a time when it would be easy to back off. I am exceptionally proud of this team and the way we played tonight."
Delia Brekken won the tip, but a Peyton player came up with possession. They were not able to convert, and Kim Donaldson put the Danes' first two points on the board. The first quarter saw the Danes execute several fast breaks. They shut down the Peyton offense, forcing them to shoot from way outside, and those shots were not falling. Ellie Taylor sank a beautiful 10-foot jump shot. Heather Whitham completed one of her signature one-dribble jump shots and was fouled on the shot. She put in the free throw as well. Early in the game, Whitham did a great job of establishing rebound position and drew the "over the back" call. Donaldson had six points in the quarter and Brekken sank one free throw. The Danes had a bit of a letdown with :55 to go in the first quarter and allowed the Panthers to score four points in that time. The Danes led 12-7.
In the second quarter, the Danes continued to distribute the ball well. In their first matchup against Peyton, the Danes struggled mightily against the full court man-to-man pressure. Tonight, it was much more common to see them cut through the defense like a hot knife through butter. (Like waxed skis through snow?) Brekken did a great job of anchoring the press break, offering a tall target in the middle of the court. Clare Hamilton used her significant ball-handling skills to make sure she got the ball across half court safely. Her agility and control continue to guide the team's offensive efforts. The Danes led 22-19 at the half.
In the third quarter, the Panthers rallied behind their 3-point shooter who was red-hot from behind the arc...often far behind the arc. Every time she scored three, FVS scored two. Peyton slowly cut the lead down until they finally pulled ahead by five points at the end of the third. Hamilton, Donaldson, Brekken and Whitham all scored in the stanza.
The Danes switched to a man defense in the fourth. The Panthers spread the court and took time off the clock with every offensive possession. The Danes continued to dominate the boards, but fatigue was seeping in and that meant the girls turned the ball over more than they should. With just a few minutes left on the clock, FVS had to foul. Unfortunately, they kept fouling an accomplished free throw shooter for Peyton, and then had trouble converting on the other end of the court. So the final score doesn't really reflect the story of the game, but the Danes should be proud of the effort.