The Skyline girls’ basketball team ended the regular season on an upbeat note Tuesday, turning aside the South Barber Lady Chieftains 48-36.
At times this season, the T-Birds have struggled against teams who d’d them up man-to-man, but no such offensive woes were in evidence Tuesday night at the Thunderdome on Senior Night.
Skyline was able to make effective use of backdoor cuts against the Chieftains aggressive overplay style of defense in order to establish a 15-10 lead after one quarter.
The second stanza saw the Skyliners extend their lead on the strength of good defensive play. The T-Birds were able to anticipate the Chieftains pattern against their zone and step into the passing lanes frequently to interrupt the South Barber offense. The Chieftains were only able to manage 4 points in Q2, so the Thunderbird lead was up to 24-14 at the intermission.
The second half started out with more of the same. Skyline was able to get the ball into the half-court against South Barber’s full-court pressure, run their offense and get shots to fall. At the other end, South Barber was having difficulty getting anything going, and Skyline pushed the lead out to 20 points midway through the 3rd quarter.
The Lady Chieftains regained some traction when they began adding double-team trapping to their full-court pressure scheme, making a little run toward the end of the 3rd frame and getting the deficit back to 15, 38-23, heading into the deciding period.
In the 4th quarter, Skyline employed a more deliberate offensive strategy, burning clock while working the ball until someone could shake their defender for an open look. The problem was that South Barber’s double-team trapping was starting to have an effect, and the Skyliners weren’t able to advance the ball into the half-court as efficiently as they had earlier.
Luckily for Skyline, the Lady Chieftains failed to convert many of their transition lay-ups and so they were not able to close the gap as quickly as one might have expected. The Thunderbirds were able to break the press often enough, and keep the Chieftains from getting many Windex buckets after they had blown a lay-up, in order to maintain their lead until the final buzzer.
Skyline was far enough ahead that, even though South Barber was able to make a run at them down the stretch, the lead was never really in serious jeopardy.
SKYLINE 15 9 14 10 48
SBARBER 10 4 9 13 36
Janessa Davis 20; Swonger 7; Richardson 8; Neifert 2; Kaitlyn Stark 11