Titan girls get 61-55 win over SF Jefferson
By Anne Homan
Haidyn West pushes down the court last Tuesday in the Titans’ match-up against Sioux Falls Jefferson.
On Tuesday, Dec. 20 the Tea Area High School girls’ basketball team hosted Class AA Sioux Falls Jefferson. Jefferson entered the contest with a 3-0 record but the Titans handed the AA school their first loss of the season, as Tea Area earned the 61-55 victory.
“Overall it was a great team win for us. Sioux Falls Jefferson is really good team and an elite defensive team,” said head coach Adam Schorzmann. “They put a lot pressure on the ball do a good job of switching screens and jumping in the passing lane.”
The Titans however chose to play man-to-man defense which allowed them to get on-ball pressure throughout the whole game.
“I think that really got them out of rhythm and we forced them into a lot of turnovers and bad shot selection,” said Schorzmann. “Offensively we struggled to get into a flow in the first half and that was due to their pressure defense.”
At halftime the score was tied at 15-all but Tea was able to outscore Jefferson 20-15 in the third quarter.
“Coming out of halftime we knew we needed to get the ball into the lane through post touches and even drives from our guards,” said Schorzmann. “I thought we were more aggressive in the second half of getting to the rim and that helped build our shooting confidence by getting to the foul line.”
The Titans hit 22 of their 29 attempts at the foul line and shot 45 percent from the field.
Leading the team in scoring on the night was Mara Grant who had 23 points, five rebounds, and four steals. Grant went eight of 14 from the field and was seven of nine from the foul line.
“Grant had an impressive game against a tough defender in Jaidyn Dunn,” said Schorzmann.
Katie Vasecka finished the night with 12 points and nine rebounds. Kendra McKinney had 11 points and five assists. McKinney went three of six from the field and hit all five attempts from the foul line. Haidyn West had ten points, sinking two big three-point baskets late in the game. She was also perfect from the free throw line, hitting all four attempts. Miah Weber added four points and Stella Peterson had one.
While Schorzmann was impressed with the team’s offense he was equally impressed with their defensive effort.
“I thought our defensive intensity was great tonight. We gave up a few three-point shots late in the game but I thought for the majority of the game we made it really difficult for them to get into their offense,” said Schorzmann. “They’re probably the best defensive team that we will face throughout the year, and knowing we can put up 61 points against that team is a huge confidence builder for us.”
The Titans are scheduled to face off against Campbell County, Wyoming on Friday, Dec. 30 at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.