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Giants put clamps on the Vikings

December 3, 2012
Huntington North High School

Giants put clamps on the Vikings


By Chuck Landis clandis@chronicle-tribune.com | Saturday, December 1, 2012






Marion’s Julia Cardwell tries to keep hold of the ball as she battles with Huntington North’s Maddie Klender, left and Paige Coolman during third-quarter action at the Bill Green Athletic Arena on Friday evening.




Stifling defense and eight minutes of sharp offensive play made the Marion girls’ basketball team’s North Central Conference debut a success Friday evening.


The Giants put everything together in the second quarter to overcome arch-rival Huntington North’s early advantage and cruised to a 49-34 victory in the Bill Green Athletic Arena.


Marion improved to 6-2 overall behind freshman Vironnica Drake’s 14 points and defeated the Vikings for the sixth consecutive time.


Huntington North, which led 14-8 late in the first quarter, remained winless in six games and also was playing its league opener. Despite foul trouble, Paige Coolman finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.


“Our defense is what got us the lead in the second quarter with the way we broke them down,” Marion coach Jerry Freshwater said.


The Giants held an opponent to 40 or fewer points for the fifth time and limited the Vikings to 21 percent shooting from the field (9 of 43). After scoring five points in the second quarter and losing the lead, the Vikes were limited to a single basket in the first eight minutes of the second half.


“Our game plan was to keep attacking, and in the second quarter we stopped attacking,” Huntington North coach BreAnne Dyer said. “We needed to emphasize that more because we had a 1-and-1 foul situation and we couldn’t get to the line.


“It’s not necessarily what they do to us but what we do to ourselves,” Dyer added.


Allyson Trout and Coolman opened the game with baskets and the Vikings led the entire first quarter. Coolman hit two freethrowsfor a 14-8 advantage, but Drake swished a 3-pointer from the corner just before the quarter ended and the Giants trailed 14-11.


Drake knocked down two more 3-pointers when the Giants began the second quarter with a 10-1 run and open a 21-15 advantage. Coolman answered with a conventional three-point play on a putback to draw the Vikes to within 21-18, but she then picked up her second foul and sat out the rest of the first half.


Marion capitalized with the Vikes missing their leading scorer and tallest player and closed the half on another 10-1 run and a commanding 31-19 advantage at the intermission.


“I feel that the first quarter we didn’t come out in the first quarterstrongenough,” said Khyaire Speed, who contributed 10 points and five rebounds. “But once we knew what they were working with we came out strong.”


Marion’s offense was clicking in the second quarter withbackuppoint guard DeShea Howard directing the offense and the Giants made 8 of 12 shots. Howard assisted on four baskets and finished the first half with six assists.


“(Howard) finally settled down and took care of the ball, and she hit a shot and Drake hit a couple and it opened things up,” Freshwater said. “But the defense got us the lead in the second quarter.”


While the Giants offense bogged down in the second half, the defense remained tenacious and limited the Vikings to 2 of 18 shooting and helped force 17 turnovers in the second and third quarters. The game was essentially settled after the Giants pulled out to a 38-21 lead going into the final eight minutes.


Marion also had a strong contribution from Sasha Glickfield with seven of her eight points in the second quarter despite fighting an illness. Shalay Stevens added seven points and three steals.


Vikings freshman Hannah Stoffel scored all eight of her points in the fourth quarter and also collected five rebounds.


In the junior varsity game, Huntington North (4-2) handed the Giants (7-1) their first loss, 35-22. Aly Grabner scored eight and Corinne Tester seven for the Vikes and Tyra Lindsay led the Giants with 10.

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