INDEPENDENCE – The Mustangs girls basketball team hosted the 15th ranked Vikettes of Vinton-Shellsburg (11-1) last Friday night in WaMaC play.
The Mustangs showed a lot of fight early, playing the Vikettes really tough in the first quarter. Independence came out very aggressive and were not going to get pushed around.
“We talked to the girls during our walkthrough that we needed to take care of the basketball, limit Vinton-Shellsburg’s possessions by controlling the tempo of the game.” said Head Coach Hugh DeBerg, “Our emphasis was that we did not want to get into a track meet with Vinton-Shellsburg. unfortunately we got into a track meet with Vinton -Shellsburg.”
For the first eight minutes, the Mustangs stayed with the game plan, patiently passing the ball around, looking for a good shot and limiting the possessions of the Vikettes. At the end of the first quarter it was only 14-4; Vinton-Shellsburg.
In the second period, the full-court press gave the Mustangs fits and the turnovers started. The girls continuously dribbled right into double teams and right into what I like to call the “coffin corner”. There’s other words for the area just across half-court and on the sidelines, but in today’s world, I’ll just call it the “coffin corner”. Coach DeBerg calls it the “dead zone”.
“This game was a huge learning experience that we will be carrying over into practice.” added Coach DeBerg, “We made the mistake of picking the basketball up in what we call the “dead zone” which is 6-8 feet on either side of half court near the sidelines too many times. Pressing teams like to force you into those areas and we allowed ourselves to get forced there.”
This was a 28-10 score at the half, but the Mustangs continued to turn the ball over in the second half. Independence finished with 37 turnovers and the Vikettes cruised to a 50-19 victory.
“The impressive thing about this young group was they never hung their heads and continued to fight even when the score was becoming a little on the lopsided side.” continued Coach DeBerg, “The Vinton Shellsburg coach shared how hard the girls played from the start of the game to the finish.”
Leading the way for the Mustangs was sophomore Marleigh Louvar with 5 points. Sophomore Madyson Ristvedt added 4 points, but also brought down 11 rebounds. Sophomore Annie Johnson dropped in 4 points, while freshman Havanna Griffith scored 3 points. Junior Shanna Kleve also had 3 points.
1 2 3 4 T
V-S 14 14 9 13 50
Indee 4 6 4 5 19
The Mustangs girls basketball team has a brutal schedule this week, traveling to the No 4 ranked Center Point-Urbana Stormin’ Pointers (9-2) on Tuesday night and then the Marion Indians (5-4) come to town on Thursday. And a very good Benton Community (6-4) team travels to Independence on Friday for the Coaches vs. Cancer game.