MANLIUS – Bureau Valley’s aggressive defense backfired on them Thursday night.
The Storm, who started the game in a full-court press, committed 13 fouls in the first half and Morrison cashed in from the free-throw line. Taking advantage of being in the bonus the entire second quarter, the Fillies made eight of 13 free-throw attempts for a 20-10 second-quarter advantage.
Morrison, which does not have a senior on their roster and started three sophomores, would never trail after that, and extended their lead in the second half to pick up their first win of the season with a 49-33 victory over the Storm in Manlius.
“We got ourselves into foul trouble, and I’m asking my coaches to teach our guards to play another position because we don’t have any other options,” said Storm coach Tiffany Gonigam. “We did what we could, but it definitely hurt us to have some of our kids sitting on the bench in the second quarter.”
Gonigam rotated 12 girls in the lineup in the second quarter because of foul trouble, and one of those girls to take advantage was Krista Naaktgeboren. The senior guard came off the bench and scored eight of the Storm’s 10 points in the period, including back-to-back three-pointers late in the second quarter to cut the Fillies lead to 21-20.
“She doesn’t always see a lot of minutes but she came in and really shot the ball well,” said Gonigam. “She was very composed as a point guard. Once we started moving the ball around on offense we got some open shots for her and she was able to knock them down. It was a good lift for us that really helped us right before halftime.”
Morrison, after making just one field goal in the first quarter, started to gain confidence in the second quarter, offensively. Their zone trapping defense also forced nine BV turnovers in the period and fueled two breakaway layups for Lakin Goodman.
Ashley Gruel then scored eight of her game-high 12 points in the second half as the Fillies outscored the Storm 23-13 to pull away.
“I think they started to gain a lot of confidence,” said Gonigam about Morrison’s big second quarter. “You could tell by their defense. They started to play us a lot higher on the court. In the second half they started to shoot the ball a lot better and we couldn’t get out to challenge those shots.”
The Storm were without sophomore post player Heaven Bennett for the second straight game due to illness. However, Gonigam was pleased with the production she got in the post from the remaining trio of Nicole Bornsheuer (7 points, 6 rebounds), Irini Petros (4 points, 11 rebounds) and Susan Brummel (4 points, 6 rebounds).
BV also got off to a strong start in the game and led the entire first quarter. Their biggest lead of the game came after Lacey DeVenney made the first of two free throws and Petros put back her miss with 13 seconds left to make it 10-6 after the opening period.
The loss drops the Storm to 1-9 overall and 0-3 in the Three Rivers Conference, but Gonigam is seeing growth in her team.
“This week was a really good week for us,” she said. “We played in two really competitive games. We lost on Monday in overtime and this game got a little bit out of control in the second half, but we really held our own in the first half. I think we are learning what it feels like to play in those types of competitive games, and hopefully we’ll be able to come out on top in the future.”
• In the sophomore contest, Valerie Reuter scored 12 points and Regan Weidner added 10 points to lead the Storm to a 44-14 victory.