In a courtroom, eventually the attorney for the accused will say “the defense rests.”
If you play basketball for Delta coach Ryan Ripke, you know the defense NEVER rests.
Ripke’s pressing, trapping Panthers harassed and confounded Swanton into 21 turnovers and 24 percent shooting from the floor in a season-opening 48-29 road victory in girls basketball Friday night.
“I’ll credit (former assistant) Larry Bruce first,” said Ripke. “I remember talking to him about that first team I coached and he said ‘Ryan we can press with these girls’. After he left it was kind of one of those things that I wanted to make the press my own. Just through learning we picked up the run-and-jump and other variations, and ever since then that’s what we do and how we play.”
Neither team shot it well in the first quarter, and it took Braelyn Wymer’s left-wing triple to break a 6-6 tie with 3:46 left, giving the Panthers the lead for good.
Trista Eitniear’s baseline jumper chopped the margin to 9-8 at the quarter break but that was as close as Swanton could get the rest of the night.
Reagan Rouleau’s long deuce and two more Wymer three-balls helped expand the Panther advantage to 19-12 at the half as the Bulldogs shot just 2-12 in the second quarter and committed six turnovers.
“It was tough scoring because Swanton packed it in,” Ripke said of the first half. “We missed some bunnies that normally are uncontested but because they packed it in so well, those shots ended up being contested. Braelyn was the one who really benefitted from that because she got some good looks and knocked them down.”
Rouleau and Wymer knocked down three consecutive hoops to start the third, pushing the Panther edge to 25-12 with 6:37 left.
However, the Panthers went cold from the floor and Swanton got back into striking distance with an 8-0 burst.
Averie Lutz’ steal and score, Katie Floyd’s putback, and four straight Aricka Lutz points pulled the Bulldogs back to within 26-21 with 1:53 on the clock in the third.
Little did Swanton know is that the Bulldogs wouldn’t hit from the floor for the next eight and a half minutes.
Rouleau’s leaner and back-to-back Wymer sister bombs from Brooklyn and Braelyn boosted the lead back to 13 starting the fourth.
Then a 12-0 Delta salvo put the game away.
Khloe Weber found Sophie Burres and Brooklyn Green on consecutive back cuts, then Rouleau hit a pair from the foul stripe and stuck an offensive rebound home to make it 44-25.
Weber’s bucket off a Swanton turnover and two Burres free throws gave Delta its biggest lead at 48-25 with 1:37 left, before Eitniear broke the cold spell.
“We started doing some new things defensively this year,” explained Ripke. “We switched up the pace quite a bit. If we can keep teams off balance a little bit, hurry them into shots they really don’t want a little bit, then that’s what we want to (d0).”
Delta ended up shooting 34 percent from the floor but were guilty of seven less turnovers.
Braelyn Wymer led all scorers with 18 while Rouleau canned 13 for Delta.
Aricka Lutz had 11 for Swanton.
Panthers handle Bombers
Ripke’s pressure defense forced 40 Edon turnovers, including 22 in the first half, in a 58-17 rout of the Bombers Saturday at Delta.
Braelyn Wymer’s eight first quarter points got Delta off to a 17-2 lead, then the Panthers scored the next 33 points into the third quarter.
Twenty-one of those points came directly off Edon turnovers — created in a big part by the length of Rouleau on the perimeter.
Wymer, Grace Munger, Weber and Rouleau all scored off four straight steals in the second quarter in the span of 70 seconds.
Green and Rouleau each added two more early in the third to give the Panthers their largest lead before Ripke began subbing in continuously for the rest of the night.
Again Braelyn Wymer and Rouleau led the way with 19 and 14 for the Panthers who shot 48 percent for the game, including 56 percent in the first half.
Reach Joe Blystone at email@example.com