PRINCETON — LaMoille/Ohio coach Dick Gross wants his team to run the floor this year. They’ve got the athletes, and they’ve got the speed to do it.
On Tuesday, it took about a quarter and a half into his team’s season opener against Princeton to get past the first game jitters and start converting transition scores.
The result was a 13-2 run to close the first half and a 61-29 victory in the nightcap of the second night of action in the Tigresses Holiday Tournament at Prouty Gym.
“Fastbreak layups is one thing we have been working on in practice,” Gross said. “We want to get them going. We have a lot of girls on the bench, and we have a lot of speed.”
Erin Bennett capped the second quarter run with two layups in the last minute, both assisted by Samantha Martinez, as the Lady Lions turned a 13-11 advantage into a 26-13 halftime lead.
“They started to learn to throw their outlet passes where they needed to be,” Gross said. “We’ll work on that in practice a little more.”
Princeton coach Kevin Hieronymus challenged his team at halftime to get off to a good start in the second half and although they scored the first four points of the third, on a hook in the lane by Danielle Hughes and two free throws from Taylor Clark, the Lady Lions outscored the Tigresses 19-7 the rest of the period to pull away.
“We have to learn from this and get people back on the break,” Hieronymus said. “We have to rebound better and box out better.”
The Tigresses (0-2), who were playing short-handed without Zoe Mead and Brianna Barajas due to illnesses, were out-rebounded by the Lady Lions 57-33 in the game. Vanessa Martinez (17 rebounds), Elizabeth Geuther (16) and Kaitlyn Hughes (9) controlled the glass for LaMoille/Ohio.
Sheila Browning scored 11 of her game-high 17 points in the second half for the Lady Lions. Geuther and Vanessa Martinez both had double-doubles, scoring 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Gross was pleased with the play of the Martinez sisters, both upperclassmen, who are playing basketball for the first time since junior high.
“They did very well,” Gross said. “It’s a night and day difference between grade school and high school basketball. I’m proud of them.”
Stephenny Farrell led the Tigresses with eight points. Clark and Hughes added six points each.
Tourney notes: In earlier action on Tuesday, Putnam County improved to 2-0 with a 65-21 victory over Streator and Stark County defeated Midland 73-30. ... After a night off, the tourney resumes Thursday with three games on tap with Bureau Valley vs. Henry at 5 p.m., LaMoille/Ohio vs. Midland at 6:30 p.m. and Stark County vs. Princeton at 8 p.m.
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