Delta survived a poor shooting night Thursday by forcing 32 Tinora turnovers to hand the Rams a 53-36 loss and remain unbeaten on the season at 3-0.
“I told the girls at half, we aren’t shooting the ball well but our defense is winning us the game right now,” said Panther coach Ryan Ripke. “That’s the kind of pressure we have to have especially when we aren’t shooting real well. Shots just weren’t falling (Delta was just 12 of 34 in the first half and 6 for 20 in the first quarter) and you’ll have nights like that. It was one of those games where our defense did the job.”
Nine first quarter turnovers by the Rams led to five Panther hoops between Madison Mattimore and Abigail Freeman, and other from Grace Sonick to give the Panthers a 15-8 lead.
With Delta up 19-11 in the second, an 8-0 burst in a two minute period blew the game open.
Freeman nailed a long range triple, Braelyn Wymer scored off the offensive glass and Mattimore’s transition hoop fueled the short explosion to give Delta a 27-11 lead.
That lead ballooned to 35-15 early in the third on another Freeman three-ball before a 13-3 Tinora run cut the lead in half.
Madison Brown hit a three, scored inside and hit a second triple along with one from Taylor Brown to get the Rams within 38-28 with 30 seconds left in the third before Mattimore’s stop-and-go move bumped the advantage to 12 at the break.
Mattimore’s steal and score then a triple, another long range bomb from Freeman and a bucket inside by Sonick gave the Panthers a 49-30 lead with 4:06 left.
“We just need to keep getting better,” explained Ripke. “We need to make sure we are putting pressure on the ball. We are doing a pretty good job with that. We have to start figuring out our rotations and rotate as quickly as we need to.”
Mattimore led the Panthers with 22 and Freeman had 20 to account for 80 percent of the Delta scoring.
“We also need to get some more balance in scoring.
“The two games that you’ve seen we don’t get as much as we did the other night. We’ve got to keep working on getting some more balance.”
Madison Brown had 11 for Tinora.
Reach Joe Blystone at firstname.lastname@example.org