By Amy Rutledge
“The first quarter was pretty ugly,” said head coach Chip Weiss. “It wasn’t our team basketball that we like. Defensively, we didn’t put enough pressure on them and were less physical. We didn’t put any pressure on (Avon Lake senior guard) Lacey (LeDuc). That was our key focus, was to make her turn over the ball. She had too many open shots at the beginning.
“For some reason we didn’t want to put too much pressure on Lacy when she had the ball,” Weiss added. “When she passed the ball we made the adjustment to guard her so she couldn’t get the ball back. We stressed that we weren’t playing team defense.”
With a three-point lead at the half, the Demons (14-2, 8-1 in the Southwestern Conference) came out and went into defensive overdrive, racking up nine straight points and increasing their lead by 12. With 13 points and 11 rebounds, senior Katie Carroll led the Demons on the defensive side, taking away any opportunity Avon Lake (6-10, 5-5 in the SWC) had on scoring with inside shots. The Demons were able to extend their lead to as many as 17 points in the fourth quarter after capitalizing on Avon Lake’s unforced turnovers.
“She (Carroll) did a great job, plus she didn’t get into foul trouble,” Weiss said. “That’s the biggest thing, she was very disciplined today. She’s trying not to keep blocking shots and get into better position. This was a big game for her to step up, because her and Lacy are friends. She did a tremendous job.”
With only a couple of players putting up big points, Weiss said offensively the Demons struggled to make adjustments and open up additional scoring opportunities.
“We were patient enough,” he said. “Avon Lake makes you play that way. We didn’t really recognize our good shooters. We went to the strong side too many times instead of shifting the defense a little bit. We didn’t shoot very well in the first half.”
Rachael Trujillo tied for the lead with 13 points for the Demons. Maggie Zimmerman had nine points, while Lauren Wichman put up seven points and Rachel Collins added two points.
With only one loss this season, the Demons are still hoping to be in the running for a Southwest Conference title.
“We’re doing well,” Weiss said. “We just have to stay healthy. It’s been a long season, but we need to stay healthy and keep doing things we need to do and get ready for tournament time.
Right now we’ve only lost one game,” he added. “We’re still trying to be in the hunt to beat Midpark and tie them, and then hopefully get to districts and take care of business there.”