By Drew Terhall
ANSONIA — The Lady Tigers basketball team get their first win of the season with a 45-14 conference home win over Bradford High School on Dec. 8.
Joey Schmitmeyer, the new leader of the varsity girls’ basketball program, said this win wouldn’t have been possible without the schools help from their superintendent, PJ Burgett, their athletic director Clay George, principal Jim Robson and the Tiger family.
“I’m just super proud of our effort. It’s an emotional for us, they’ve been through a lot of adversity. I’m so proud of our girls for sticking together and working hard. It’s a testament to them,” Schmitmeyer said.
Schmitmeyer also gave thanks for all the help from coach Catey Fischer. He said everyone is one big family and it took everyone’s help to get the win.
Ansonia got some outside shots to fall in to start the first quarter. They got their offense flowing and played great defense to open the game. The Lady Tigers led 11-4 after the first quarter.
As the second quarter went on, Ansonia continued to press and push the pace against Bradford. Schmitmeyer said without having the size to compete with Bradford, they need to heavily rely on their speed.
“We don’t have a true center. So we have to look to be fast and use what strengths we do have. We have to do what we’re good at,” Schmitmeyer said.
The Lady Railroaders couldn’t find their rhythm on the offensive side of the court. They had some opportunities, but just couldn’t get some shots to fall in.
Bradford scored on a couple of free throws and entered halftime down 23-6.
Head coach Josh Siedling said the team is still getting used to playing with each other at this level of basketball. They are looking for improvement each possession at a time. The main thing he is looking for from his team is to be consistent.
“It’s a learning curve. We have good games, we played good against Newton and they’re a great team. It will come. It’s just getting the consistency down right now,” Siedling said.
Ansonia continued to speed up the pace of the game. They defended every inch of the floor and made Bradford work for every point their scored. On offense, eight different players recorded at least two points. Their leading scorer, sophomore Gabby Leeper, had 12 points.
The Lady Railroaders continued to fight. Even when Ansonia would go on some runs, they continued to compete against the Ansonia defense and give it their all.
Siedling said it’s a big adjustment for the team to get used to this level of play in a conference as tough as the WOAC. But, that doesn’t stop his team from taking any challenge they face head on.
“I’m proud of the way that even if adversity comes, we fight through it. I’ve seen big improvements from day one and game one against Milton,” Siedling said. “There’s a lot of positives that we’re going to grow on. It’s a new team, it’s a new Bradford. It’s a process and we’re going to trust it.”
Bradford will have a three game stretch within the next week to build on their positives. They host Fairlawn on Dec. 10 and Tri-County North on Dec. 15. They have a road game on Dec. 12 at Troy Christian.
For Ansonia, they will look to build on their win on Dec. 10 as they take on Union City. They then host Fairlawn on Dec. 13.
Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]