By BOB ETTINGER
For the Star Beacon
ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP —
Coaches are forever telling their players they have to get in good position and box the opposing players out. But doing those two things doesn’t work if the players don’t secure the ball.
Two and a half minutes into a contest with Edgewood, Grand Valley coach Kim Triskett burned one of her timeouts to discuss exactly that with her Mustangs. It was a well-used timeout as Grand Valley put together a run to take control in beating the Warriors, 63-45, at Edgewood on Monday night.
“We had talked in the locker room before the game that our defense has to transition into our offense,” Triskett said. “We needed to control the boards.
“I don’t know if you saw why I called that early timeout, but the first 2 times we boxed out perfectly. But then the ball bounces a couple of times and (Edgewood) picks it up. I think they even scored on one of them. We weren’t aggressive to the ball. I told the girls they can’t box out and not control the ball.”
Just more than a minute later, it became apparent the Mustangs (11-7) were executing just the way they were asked to. It resulted in a number of one-shot possessions for the Warriors (5-11). Once the Mustangs had the ball back in their possession, they’d go down to the other end and score.
“We talked about that,” Edgewood coach Steve Kray said. “We leave too many points on the floor. Four or five times, (Chris) Futty tipped it to herself. They got the ball and scored. We’re not very big, we have to have everybody rebound.”
Grand Valley outscored the Warriors, 16-4, over a 3-minute span to go ahead, 19-8, with 1:16 to play in the first period.
Futty scored 8 of her game-high 19 points in the quarter and Jessica Vormelker added 6 on her way to 17.
Edgewood responded by scoring the next 8 points of the period and trailed, 19-16, with 16 seconds into the second quarter.
“That goes to back to what I’ve said all season,” Kray said. “You could record and play it back every game. We play extremely hard. We don’t quit. We had cut it to 6, then they had a flurry and it’s back up to 12. We have stretches where we aren’t very good. Then we have stretches where do everything the right way.”
A minute later, however, the Mustangs regained the momentum and used a 13-0 run in which Shar Miller netted 5 of her 7 points to take a 33-18 advantage with 2 minutes to go in the half.
“That was important because we had a couple of different bodies on the floor at the time,” Triskett said. “Going out for the second quarter, we talked about going up strong. We came out and did that and we controlled the boards. We were efficient on offense. We beat their half-court trap. We were finishing in the paint.”
Futty had scored 13 points in the half, Vormelker added 10 and Miller had her 7.
“Chris played one of her better games tonight,” Triskett said. “I never have to worry about her intensity or hustle. Tonight, she played more confidently.”
The Grand Valley defenders made life difficult for the Warriors in trying to take away their bread and butter.
“They like to run that high screen and roll,” Triskett said. “We see that a lot in our league. That’s something we took and broke down, defensively, and talked about how we would play that, how to take away roll, whether or not to sag off.
“The kids did a nice job executing. If you take that away from them, you’re taking away what they want to do and they get out of the flow of their offense.”
“They were fighting through the screens,” Kray said. “We like to come off the screen and bubble it to give us a little space. They played such good defense, we couldn’t bubble. Ultimately, they played us very physically. That’s what good teams do.”
Taylor Diemer and Carrie Pascarella each tallied 11 points to pace the Warriors.
Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.