Tanager girls remain undefeated, hold defensive clinic against S.F. Christian Chargers

Tanager girls remain undefeated, hold defensive clinic against S.F. Christian Chargers
Defense may not always win championships, but in the Dec. 21 girls' varsity basketball contest between the Tanagers of Vermillion and the Chargers of Sioux Falls Christian, it proved to be the decisive factor. Going into the game, the Tanagers were standing strong at an overall season record of 3-0 and the Chargers were just below the .500 mark at 2-3.

It is important to come out with an efficient style of basketball from the first tip. The Tanager girls skipped that stepped and turned their play into blowout mode. Before the second quarter could start, the hometown girls were leading by an astounding mark of 27-3. Coach Jamie Parish, discussing this team's fiery start to the game, stated, "We got off to a great first quarter start getting some easy baskets in transition and hitting five threes. SFC brought a big team here and we were worried about giving up some offensive rebounds but our perimeter kids did a great job of pressuring the ball and everyone did a great job of rebounding."

With a more than healthy lead intact, a second-quarter slip up was no problem. The home team was outscored by three times as many points as they could muster. That was okay, however. The score at halftime was 29-9. Yes, that is right. The Tanager girls were outdone in the second period by a scoreboard-jettisoning mark of 6-2.


Going into the final two periods, riding a 20-point lead, the Tanager girls settled in just a little bit and let their defense handle the rest.

Often you find teams that will hold their opponents to an awfully low one-quarter scoring effort and then give up twenty the next time around. For the Tanagers, this game was about consistency.

They put a close to the night with a 25-15 scoring run, letting the final score rest at a dominating mark of 54-24. When the math is complete, the homers only allowed an impressive six points per quarter in this tune up. The Tanager girls finished with only six turnovers to the Chargers' 27. Both teams finished with 21 rebounds apiece. When you make less than one-third of your shots as a team, a struggle to win might possibly be present. However, the girls took 64 attempts to get there, allowing them to almost triple the amount of field goals made by S.F. Christian, who ended up with an exact percentage of 33 from the hardwood.

Leading the way for the Vermillion girls were Annie Roche and Alicia Brown, finishing with a combined total of 30 points and eleven steals. Brittany Bye also assisted in the effort by producing six points and a game-high five rebounds.

The Chargers were led in scoring by Carrie Vandekamp and Kelsy Van Pearsen with three points apiece. Vandekamp also had three steals, and Van Pearsen brought in five rebounds.

Coach Parish's comments: "Our coaching staff was pleased with the game but we see some things that we need to continue to work on. At times we become overly dependent on making jump shots. When we are shooting well it looks like all is well, but we need to focus on other ways to score and not depend on the three-point line so much. We are very pleased to be off to such a good start and will continue to do things to help us improve."

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