08 December 2010

Girls Basketball: Defense propels Tigers to third straight win

Gabby White (below) shows good lay-up form
Taylor Meyer (No. 50) battles for loose ball

FHS girls basketball coach Jason Berg was happy with his team's offensive output in its 71-41 win over Hudson, Wisconsin, Tuesday night, Dec. 6, at Tiger Gym, but made no secret about the chief reason his team has started the season with three consecutive wins. In a word, defense.
"The difference between this year and other years is that we are contesting every shot," Berg said. "Hudson has some good shooters but when they have a hand in their face every time they shoot the ball, they're not going to be as good.
"It started down at Owatonna in the first game. We kept our poise and put on the defensive pressure down the stretch. It (defense) makes us better at every phase of the game."
The contest was close early but thanks to a hounding defense and a patient half-court offense that produced easy basket after easy basket the Tigers raced to a 41-18 halftime lead.
Taylor Meyer led the first half fireworks with 15 of her game-high 17 points; Elena Koch added eight in the opening stanza.
Hudson shot the ball better in the second half but could never get back in the game. The Tigers substituted liberally with nine different players scoring points in the non-conference contest.
Meyer finished one-point below her season average of 18 points a game and got plenty of scoring help from Koch (14), Jordan Bridges (12) and Jamie Kenealy (9).
Koch had one the best all-around games of her career, adding six rebounds, five blocks, five assists and a trio of steals to her season-high point total.
Farmington outrebounded Hudson by a decisive 32-19 with Bridges and Meyer tying Koch for team honors with six. Meyer and Paige Steele each chipped in with four assists.
Perhaps the most important stat for the winners was their eight turnovers, the second time in three outings they have been below double digits in that category.
"We're taking care of the ball better for two reasons," Berg said. "First we are slowing the pace a little and second, we are now mostly juniors and seniors. We're stronger and more mature."
The Tigers put their three-game winning streak on the line Friday night, Dec. 9, when they entertain Rosemount at Tiger Gym.
"That will be a good test for us," Berg said. "They have a couple of good shooters. We'll have to be ready to play."