Small squad and foul trouble hampers Cubs
It only took two quarters for St. Bernard’s to establish dominance in a 64-37 win against South Fork during the opening game of the Crusader Classic Tournament.
After losing the first quarter 14-10, the Crusaders changed their defense from press to zone, spread the floor and only allowed the Lady Cubs to score four points in the second quarter.
”It was in the second quarter that I think we took over the game,” St. Bernard’s head coach Matt Tomlin said. “[South Fork is] a good team. They’re well coached and they have good shooters. We had to get out to those shooters. We were able to do that and really get a run going in that second quarter.”
With three players scoring in double digits in Thursday’s victory - Joslynn Silvers (16), Becca Parker (11) and Erika Silvers (10) - the Crusaders are riding a six game winning streak and have won two tournament championships coming into the Crusader Classic. Although Tomlin has been impressed by the Silver sisters and Parker, he’s happy that the Crusaders are sharing the ball.
”I think the one thing that stands out to me is that we’re playing unselfish basketball right now,” Tomlin said. “Everyone shares the ball.”
In addition to the trio, the Crusaders had an additional six players that contributed to the win. Karly Robertson scored eight, Betsy Brown had seven and Paige Legaz hit two 3-pointers to score six. The numbers were on St. Bernard’s side, especially on the bench.
St. Bernard’s had 11 players suit up for the game against South Fork. The Lady Cubs only had six.
When South Fork’s starting center Brianna Finney fouled out of the game there was still four minutes left in the third quarter.
Starting point guard Trisha Harrison had to move down to a wing position and made the 15-point deficit feel insurmountable.
”With our starting center out of the game, since we’re down on numbers the way we are, it just makes it hard to even compete, at all,” South Fork head coach Dave Bushnell said. “It’s going to be our Achilles’ heel all year as far as the inside game.”
Bushnell said when the Lady Cubs play a good, clean game, having six or seven players isn’t a problem.
”We have them in shape and they run the floor pretty well,” Bushnell said. “But it is going to be a problem with us when we play teams that will go inside and throw their bodies at our defense the way they did tonight.”
Finney finished with eight points before she fouled out.
Harrison finished with 18 points including two break away layups in the first quarter that gave South Fork their first lead and two 3-pointers.
”We have some very good players,” Bushnell said. “But we have to keep them in the game.”