Demons limit WACO to 10 points in second half of Hall of Pride game
WAYLAND — Washington head girls’ basketball coach Phil Long changed full-court presses at halftime of Saturday’s Hall of Pride exhibition game at WACO, and the Demons limited the Warriors to just 10 points in the second half as they rallied for a 50-34 victory.
“In the first half, we put a scramble full-court press in, which we’d never run before,” Long said. “The night we got a chance to scout WACO, Louisa-Muscatine never pressed them, so we didn’t know what kind of press breaker they would run. They went to a 1-4 set, and I stubbornly thought our scramble could work against that. It failed miserably. In the second half we went back to a press these kids have run all their lives, and we got them to turn it over 8-10 times in a row, and that led to some easy baskets at our end.”
Washington finished with 30 steals on the night. Senior Sammy Ellingson had a team-high seven thefts, and junior Grace Redlinger added six. Senior Beth Dillon had four steals, and senior Johannah Vittetoe had three.
Washington led 14-10 after one quarter of play, but WACO was up 24-23 at the intermission. Long’s Demons wore down the Warriors in the second half.
“That was our first chance to play four quarters and prove to our kids that we could wear down our opponents,” he said.
Dillon scored 15 points to lead the Demons, and Redlinger added nine. Senior Lauren Kimball scored seven points, and Ellingson had five.
Sophomore Aaliyah Brown scored nine points to lead WACO, but was held to just one point in the second half.
Washington opens the regular season tonight at Eddyville-Blakesburg, and Long said his players would have to shoot free throws better than they did on Saturday night if the Demons are to get a win.
“We have to step to the free-throw line and make shots,” he said. “We can’t go 10-for-30 and expect to beat quality teams.”