|Offensive glass tells the story in
Tuesdayâ€™s win for Lady Warriors
Grigsby sparks dominate first half to lead Adena
Tuesdayâ€™s match-up of conference unbeatens was a game of two different styles. Adena is a small,
scrappy team that is going to use great depth and great quickness on the defensive end for 32 minutes;
while offensively, they have two of the leagueâ€™s elite talents in Jenny Grigsby and Autumn Smith who
create many problems for opponents. They also have good senior leadership from Brytan Givens who
plays the game with a great basketball IQ. With Piketon, the Lady Redstreaks have great size. They have
an elite talent in Alex Southworth, an experienced post in Tori Pelphrey, and some young talent led by K.
K. Jenkins who is going to continue to get better with experience.
In this game, both teams were successful in doing some of the things they wanted to do; however, the
difference was the ability of Adena to outwork the bigger Piketon team on the offensive glass. Piketonâ
€™s great length was able to stretch out in the scrimmage area and really keep the game slowed down
throughout the night. I felt Piketon had great tempo, and the initial defense of the Lady Redstreaks was
not bad. In the first half, Grigsby was able to get isolated in the middle in some favorable match-ups, and
she capitalized with a great half scoring 15 of her game-high 22 points in the gameâ€™s first 16 minutes
to lead Adena to a 25-11 halftime advantage. Even with Grigsby having the big half, I still thought
Piketon defended well enough to be in the game.
The problem for Piketon in the first half is they never were able to finish the possession with a defensive
rebound after their initial defense forced a would-be stop. Piketon was in position to get to the half only
down seven or eight, but all of the Adena second chance opportunities were killing Piketon. It not only
gave Adena more chances to score, it also put Piketon in some terrible foul trouble. I do not know the
official stats, but I would guess Adena recorded nearly 15 offensive rebounds in the first half. Obviously,
if a team gives up this many second chances, they are going to foul due to being caught in poor position
so many times. This was a complete result of Adenaâ€™s incredible effort. After Piketon worked hard
to force the missed shot, Adena just simply outworked them to the ball. As mentioned earlier, I love the
talent of Grigsby and Smith, but the intangibles that this team gets from Givens, Alyssa Dawson, Natalie
Cooper, Michelle Ackley, and a few others is what makes them so complete. The Adena depth was a
big key in this game.
I really liked how Coach Cox went about defending Piketon. He didnâ€™t try to get too fancy in his
looks. He just matched up and contested every dribble and every pass, and that was enough to take
Piketon out of what they wanted to do. Just like Adenaâ€™s effort on the offensive glass negated
Piketonâ€™s size in terms of rebounding, the Lady Warriors used a really active defense to keep
Piketon from being able to comfortably establish an offense in the paint as well. I think Piketon is a tough
team to zone pressure or even run-and-jump because they are well coached and their size throws over
the top. When teams like Adena just stay straight-up and pressure the ball, it seems to make it tough on
Southworth to remain involved in the offense. It was not that Southworth was turning the ball over. In
fact, I thought she did a solid job handling the ball; however, it did force her to work hard, and it made it
difficult for Piketon to create easy baskets.
The win keeps Adena perfect in the league at 5-0. Even though Adena is going to have some losses in
their overall record (they are currently 6-3) because their non-league schedule is extremely tough, I think
Adena is in great position in the SVC standings. They have already beaten a very good ZT team on the
road. Their telling stretch is coming in the next week or so when they play back-to-back Saturday home
games against Unioto and Zane Trace.
As for Piketon, they are going to be fine. I felt from day one that fans needed to keep a reasonable
perspective because their schedule set-up for some good news/bad news scenarios. They were able to
get out to a fast start, and now they are in a stretch where they play Adena, Unioto, and Zane Trace in a
five-day span. Following that, they will play five straight games in which they will be favored to win. I am
not saying they canâ€™t win one of these games against the top three teams, but as I said in the preview
earlier this year, it is important for Piketon to win the games they are supposed to win. If they continue to
do this, the program is going to continue to take positive steps. The biggest positive I would take from
Tuesday for the Lady Redstreaks is that they did not play their best and was still only down seven until an
Ackley three-pointer stretched the Adena lead back to 10 at 31-21 entering the fourth quarter.
Piketon will get better with experience at playing in big games. They are going to have to get a little
stronger to allow their size to be an advantage. The more they improve on the defensive glass, the less
foul trouble they will find themselves in which should help them improve their ability to compete with the
elite teams in the league.