In rivalry game, Women’s Basketball shines in second half

 Senior Solana Cushing (5) drove up for a basket during the second half of the Tigers 72-52 victory over Southwest on January 9th.

Caleb Stipkovits

Senior Solana Cushing (5) drove up for a basket during the second half of the Tigers 72-52 victory over Southwest on January 9th.

Caleb Stipkovits, Staff Writer

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South’s varsity women’s basketball team scored 45 points in the second half to beat the Southwest Lakers at home Tuesday (January 8th), 72-52.

Led by senior Solana Cushing’s 28 points, the Tigers improved their record to 8-4 overal, and 4-0 in conference play.  Cushing scored 23 of her 28 points in the second half, including 4 three point shots, which led the Tigers to come back from a first half where they struggled and trailed 30-27 at the time that the halftime buzzer rang.  “We really came out in the second half, after being down by three [at the half] we went on like a 20-4 run and really put it away,” said varsity Coach Nathan McGuire.

Cushing thought the team really improved in the 2nd half.  “Especially in the second half we picked up our defensive intensity and going into attack mode, taking advantage of our numbers in the 2nd half,” she said.  “Definitely our defense we got a lot more steals and we were more in the game, our heads weren’t down and we were working together more as a team,” added teammate sophomore Jade Hill.

The team was able to pass the ball around without turning it over for the majority of the game, something that the Lakers struggled with throughout the game, especially in the 2nd half.  “We made a lot of nice passes and our decision making was pretty good tonight,” said Hill.

Something the team has noticed about the season is that they have played better in the 2nd half of their games.  “We usually have better second halves in most of our games,” said Hill. “For some reason, we have this thing where we start off real slow,” said McGuire.  “That’s something [that], as a coaching staff, we need to get going faster,” he concluded.

The 20 point victory helped them stay undefeated in conference play and remain in 1st place, one game ahead of North High school, which is 3-1.  The team had 13 more games left in the season, including 8 more conference games.

Another reason the team felt as if they had a strong 2nd half was that they switched their defensive formation up.  “Switching up into a zone [defense] helps us, we’re down a couple people, one of our players is injured, so it’s kind of difficult to play one on one defense, possession in and possession out, for long periods of time so I think switching it up really helped us get steals to move our offense forward,” said Cushing.

Overall the team felt as if they played a good game.  They had a lot of steals, didn’t turn over the ball and made a handful of 3 pointers.  However, the team knows that they can’t always expect to win a game based on talent. “A game like this, they come out, they play really hard, and we have to focus on not just being more talented but little things like playing better defense, even if it feels like it isn’t necessary,” Cushing said.  Hill added, “We always need to keep our effort up, we can’t always go into the game saying since we’re the better team, that we’re gonna win all the time, it doesn’t work like that.”

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