LEWISBURG – Ansonia was cold shooting from the field against Tri-County North on Thursday.
The Tigers ran with the Panthers in the first quarter when the play was focused on transition, and they were only behind by 5, 19-14.
It began at a fast pace with both teams running the court. But when the game settled down into a half-court pace, that change favored Tri-County North. The Panthers scored both inside and outside. Meanwhile, Ansonia was cold in their half-court sets. A 10-point half time deficit grew and by game’s end it was 65-44 in favor of North.
Tri-County North settled into a zone and dared Ansonia to shoot outside. The Tigers got some open shots, but they could not find their mark.
Meanwhile, Ansonia started in a zone but went to a man-to-man defense to try and stop North’s top scorer, Audrey Stupp. She rarely got a shot off without someone in her face.
Although Ansonia paid the extra attention to Stupp, she managed to score 26 points. And her teammate Megan Poling was only 2 points behind with 24 points.
You can sometimes stop a single good shooter, but it can be hard to stop a one-two punch, and Tri-County North shot well in the friendly confines of its home court.
“North shot the ball extremely well,” Ansonia girls basketball coach Jim Bolin said. “I don’t know the numbers, but it had to be a high percentage. They hustled well, got good position on the boards, and with their two main scorers shooting as well as they did, it made it hard to stop them. We did not shoot the ball as well as we normally do, but their defense had a lot to do with that. You have to attack a zone, and we didn’t do that – we just caught the ball and shot it.”
The Tigers did press some in the last quarter but did not manage to gain much headway. They got some turnovers but had a difficult time converting them into points.
Ansonia managed to get two players into double figures – Trinity Henderson and Katie Werts. Henderson led the Tigers with 15 points while Werts scored 10.
“She is a double-figure scorer for us,” Bolin said of Werts. “She helps us in other ways – with assists and she plays really good defense. She will pull down some boards, too. Henderson and Werts have been the mainstays of this team on offense.”
Ansonia has a young team surrounding its big scorers.
“We have nine freshmen coming on with our JV team, and we pulled three of them up to give them playing time to try and build our future,” Bolin said. “They will have to be the kids to help do it next year for us. We have a couple of starters coming back, but we need to build these kids so that they can play around them.”
Saturday will have both the Tigers girls and boys basketball teams playing against the Mississinawa Valley Blackhawks. Junior varsity games start with the girls at 3 p.m. with the girls, boys junior varsity at 4:30 and go into the evening. Then the girls varsity will play at 6 p.m. and the boys varsity plays at 7:30.
“We beat Mississinawa earlier in the season,” Bolin said. “But that was then and this is now. We have to go game by game and not look ahead. We match up well with them. We will be on our home court, and I anticipate that we will play better there than we did here tonight. But every game is different. We will find out on Saturday night.”