Big second half gives Versailles girls basketball win over Marion Local


By Drew Terhall

VERSAILLES — In a physical MAC game, the Versailles girls basketball team came away with a convincing 55-44 win over Marion Local at home on Dec. 9.

The Lady Tigers were coming off a 47-57 loss at St. Henry on Dec. 7. Head coach Tracy White said her team was able to handle the quick turn around and got themselves ready for this conference matchup.

“Our girls really locked in, it’s a quick turn around. We had to prepare for everything St. Henry did and then adjust to what Marion Local did playing two different styles on the defensive end especially. I felt like the girls locked in yesterday and at shoot around today. They came and played as a team for four quarters,” White said.

It was a back and forth first quarter. Both teams built up a small lead only for the other team to take it away. Versailles came away leading 17-15 after the first quarter.

Versailles was able to hold onto the lead for most of the second quarter. Eventually, Marion Local tied the game 23-23 with 3:30 left.

The Lady Flyers were doing enough on offense to keep pace with the Lady Tigers. But with the clock winding down to single digits, senior Jenna Dirksen hit a three to go up 30-26 at halftime.

Junior Grace Osborne was flying around in the first half. White said Osborne can catch opposing players off guard with her quick first step and has the vertical to go up and rack up the blocks.

From there, it was all Versailles in the second half. The Lady Tigers outscored Marion Local 15-5 in the third quarter and they did not allow a field goal.

White said it’s hard for any offense to score against a defense that is clicking. The Lady Tigers were playing a shut down defense in the third quarter.

“I thought our defensive intensity definitely turned up a level. We were all communicating and if we had the help, we always had the drop without the helper, we were rotating. There was a couple possessions where we had somebody that might not have been on the same page but they figured it out within the first couple passes,” White said.

The offense kept doing its thing throughout the game. White said the team was able to move the ball inside and outside with their guards and post players. When Marion Local keyed on their inside game, they were able to make shots on the outside. When the outside shot wasn’t there, the post players were able to get a bucket down low.

Everyone stepped up for Versailles to get the win. White said they stress assists, deflections, defensive rotations and charges. She said it’s those things that can help win a big game like this. Everyone was able to execute in those areas.

“I felt like we had so many people step up in different ways. I don’t think there was a person that went on the floor that didn’t do something good. Our bench was in it as well, it was an all around team win,” White said.

Even when Marion Local got the game back into a single digit deficit, Versailles held strong. They took care of the ball and made their free throws. The team was 13 for 13 from the free throw line.

They also kept getting up and competing in a very physical game. The Lady Tigers were able to fight through the tough Marion Local press. White said her ball handlers in Osborne, sophomore Katey Litten and senior Jenna Dirksen were able to get cross court and set up the offense without much stress.

“It was four quarters, start to finish, just a straight up battle. It’s the whole length of the court, the back court and the front court. I felt like we handled the pressure a lot better. Katey and Grace and a couple times Jenna were able to bring the ball and not turn the ball over. It was huge for us, get us into offensive sets,” White said.

Dirksen led the team with 17 points. White said Dirksen is a three dimensional player that was able to get into a groove early attacking the rim and hitting some shots. That just opened up the offense for everyone else.

Litten and junior Taylor Wagner both had 14 points.

Versailles will travel to New Bremen on Dec. 14 for their next game. Varsity is slated for a 7 p.m. start.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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