The Heritage Pride used a stifling full court press and aggressive zone defense to confound the Riverside Rams on Wednesday night, running away for a 50-25 victory in a Dulles District contest.
It was a low-scoring game on both sides until early in the third quarter. Riverside forward Lauren Eichenlaub, who had led her team in scoring up until that point, picked up two quick fouls and had to go to the bench. At that point Heritage led 18-15, but the Pride soon embarked on a 12-2 run to stretch their lead well into double figures.
While Heritage started to force turnovers and get baskets in transition, Riverside’s offense remained stuck in low gear, especially without Eichenlaub. When the Rams got the ball up the court they couldn’t get good shots against Heritage’s zone. The Pride held Riverside to 15% shooting from the field, using a deep bench to keep the defensive intensity going the whole game.
“I think it was just defensive intensity,” Heritage coach Reggie Barnes said when asked what he thought the key to victory was. “We saw some things that we thought we could capitalize on defensively and the girls just executed.”
That they did. Sophomore Elizabeth Suder eventually buried a three-pointer to end the Heritage run and bring her team within ten, but that was as close as Riverside got. Heritage spread the floor in the fourth quarter and forced the Rams to foul. While the Pride got to the line and scored 19 points in the quarter, Heritage’s defense remained tight and held the Rams to five points the rest of the way. The deal was sealed, and the Pride had an important district victory.
Eichenlaub, Suder and her sister Caroline scored eight points apiece, accounting for all but one point of Riverside’s total output. Sophomore guard Lauren Phelps led the balanced Heritage scoring attack with 14 points. Senior forward Mariel Terry added 10 points and seven rebounds, junior guard Grace Sibley had seven points, and senior forward Morgan Gray had six points and 12 boards. Heritage’s depth proved to be a big factor on the evening.
“We think one of the things we can use to our advantage is our depth,” Barnes said. “If we can make other teams go to their bench we feel like we have an advantage there.”
Heritage improved to 2-0 in the Dulles District and 6-6 overall. Riverside fell to 1-1 in the district and 8-2 overall.
all stats are unofficial
|Threes: C. Suder 2-4, E. Suder 2-12, Lubitz 0-2, Ziller 0-1, Kincaid 0-1|
|Threes: Phelps 2-4, Sibley 1-2, Gaither 0-1, Berry 0-1, Gray 0-2, Kaiser 0-3|