For the second time in a week, the Highland Lady Bulldogs’ pressure defense and transition game allowed the team to thrive on the hardwood.
On Thursday Dec. 6, Highland threw intense man-to-man pressure on Waterloo and the Lady Bulldogs started fast and rolled to an easy 67-12 Mississippi Valley Conference win at home. The victory pushed the team’s record to 8-1 overall and 3-0 in the MVC.
Highland, which knocked off perennial power Edwardsville on Saturday, Dec. 1, opened the Waterloo game with a 22-5 blitz in the first quarter and raced to a dizzying 38-6 halftime lead.
“Offensively it (the game) was nice,” Highland coach Clint Hamilton said. “Waterloo played a 1-2-2 zone, so we did a nice job of moving the ball and hitting perimeter shots and we ended up making seven three (pointers) tonight and that kind of got the confidence going.”
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Another confidence builder was the Lady Bulldogs relentless pressure defense, which held struggling Waterloo (2-6, 0-4 in the MVC) to just one free throw in the second quarter and only five first quarter points.
“Defensively, we kind of sped them up a little bit and made them a little uncomfortable compare to how they usually like to play,” Hamilton said. “So, defensively we kind of set the tone for our game and made a couple of shots and that went a long way for us.”
The monster scoring first half allowed the Lady Bulldogs to play with a running clock for the entire second half as Highland pumped in another 20 points to pull away and continued to stifle Waterloo on the defensive end of the floor.
Junior guard Ellie Brown led the way with 13 points and junior guard Megan Kronk added 12 points. Junior guard Ashlyn Klucker and senior post Mae Riffel were productive as well with eight points each.
“We got everybody into the scoring column except one kid, so we had a lot of different kids that could score tonight which was nice,” Hamilton said. We moved the ball really well against their zone and got some pretty good looks.”
Aubrey Hubbard paced Waterloo with 5 points.