February 11, 2012North Central Conference
For The Herald Bulletin
GREENFIELD, Ind. — The Anderson Lady Tribe brought their best defense in Friday night’s semifinal battle against New Castle and rolled to a 56-31 victory to advance to the final of Class 4A Sectional 9 against Pendleton Heights.
The Tribe (18-5) held the Trojans (5-16) scoreless for 10:07, from 2:53 left in the second quarter all the way until just 46 seconds remained in the third.
“I told them how the game could be decided to start the third quarter. We struggled a little offensively but our defense made sure they didn’t do anything,” Anderson coach Chad Cook said. “We did so much better in the second half moving our feet and getting to the right spot.”
In the quarter, the Tribe forced nine turnovers and held the Trojans to just 10 percent (1-for-10) from the floor.
For the first 13 minutes of the game, it was closely contested.
Anderson rushed out to a 12-4 lead in the first quarter, seeing production from four different players. During the early run, 5-foot-4 Savannah Jones tallied two blocks. She would end the game with a game-high four.
But with back-to-back 3-point plays, New Castle would come within four points, as the first ended 14-10.
Trojans’ Brandi Pennington forced a turnover and took it coast-to-coast for an easy layup to cut Anderson’s lead to just one. Anderson’s Da’sha Boyd answered and tallied three points, all free throws, to extend the lead to four. Boyd finished with a game-high 20 points, all off the bench. Danielle Davis was next in double figures with 12, also from the bench.
“That’s no surprise for (Boyd) to do that. We are as deep of a team that I have ever been a part of. We can play 10 and not lose one step,” Cook said.
With the score 21-18, Anderson’s defense went into full force. The Tribe notched 17 unanswered points to put the game out of reach. Anderson finished with 53 percent from the floor (24-of-45).
“When we are supposed to win like that we want to come out and do that,” Cook said.
The Trojans shot 30 percent (11-of-36) from the field with 19 turnovers, while only scoring one 3-pointer (1-13).
In tonight’s championship matchup against Pendleton Heights, Cook knows the game wont be the same as Friday. “We are definitely looking forward to it and we’ve done what we were supposed to do up until now,” said Cook. “We are going up against the reigning champion three times running. Lets see if we can take it from them.”