COCOLAMUS - It was a pretty simple game between Belleville Mennonite and Midd-West in the girls consolation round of the Juniata County Christmas Tournament Friday.
Basically, it was a game of Midd-West's high-intensity defense, coupled with its ability to drive to the basket, which made all the difference in the 56-21 Midd-West win.
"We were able to force turnovers, and the turnovers were under the basket, so we got some easy shots," Midd-West coach Dave Fadale said of his team's full-court press. And it was this press which gave the Mustangs the early lead they would never relinquish.
Sentinel photo by TIM SHUMAKER
Midd-West’s Mikayla Beiler, left, takes a shot over Belleville Mennonite’s Grace Peachey Friday.
From the beginning, Midd-West pressured Bellville Mnnonite into giving up turnovers, and the Mustangs converted these into easy buckets.
In the first and second quarters alone, Midd-West outscored Belleville Mennonite 30-13. And in the following two quarters, the Mustangs only extended their lead, holding Belleville Mennonite to a two-point third quarter and a six-point fourth.
"Our guards were a little quicker than their guards, so we were able to put the pressure on," Fadale said.
From the Trojans' end, their own defensive woes were a frustration. Midd-West seemed able to drive to the basket at will, and Belleville Mennonite coach Ally Zook targeted this as one of her team's main flaws in the loss.
"Defense is what hurt us. They weren't moving their feet, they were flat footed, and (Midd-West) was driving to the basket and getting it every time," Zook said.
On the offense, Belleville Mennonite's all-tournament selection Rachel Anders tied with Meredith Spicher for a team-high six points.
For Midd-West, Mikayla Beiler had a game-high 18. All-tournament selection Allie Camp trailed with 17.
Midd-West (2-4) travels to Milton on Saturday. Belleville Mennonite (1-6) hosts Williamsburg Jan. 4.