Get off my ‘lawn:’ Stout defense lifts Argos girls to 5th straight win
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
ARGOS –- The Argos girls basketball team led Trinity Greenlawn 21-0 at halftime at Phil Weybright Gymnasium Wednesday when first-year coach Scott Jennings demanded something of his team that one might not expect of a team that had just shut out its opponent for a half.
He wanted them to play better defense.
He got the better defense, and his team also got a 47-6 win that extended their winning streak to five.
Lizzy Edmonds, who had 17 points, and freshman reserve Samantha Redinger, who had seven, both outscored the entire Trinity team.
Madi VanDerWeele and Amanda Fajardo had five points each.
Argos, who scored the game’s first 29 points, improved to 5-7 overall and 3-1 in the Hoosier Plains. Trinity Greenlawn, who came into the game averaging 32 points per game, committed 37 turnovers and fell to 1-5, 1-2.
Anna Cullinan scored on a coast-to-coast banker with 2:39 left in the third quarter for Trinity’s first points. Maggie Karban and Tess Curran each had a bucket in the fourth quarter.
Still, Jennings thought the second half was the better half defensively.
“I kind of got on them at halftime,” Jennings said. “If you noticed, we didn’t come out of the locker room too early. Even though they hadn’t scored yet, we were still letting them drive by us a little bit. Even on our press, they got by down the sideline, and we got beat baseline a couple times. They didn’t score, but moving our feet, we’ve got to get better at that. We like to use our hands a little bit too much instead of cutting off the sidelines. I thought the second half, some of our subs came in, and I thought we played pretty good defense. Even though they got their buckets in the second half, I thought we played better defense (in) the second half.”
Argos was playing for the first time since a win over New Prairie 15 days earlier, but they jumped out to a 12-0 lead after one quarter thanks to two Sydney Shepherd free throws, a Sophie Bollenbacher transition basket, an Emma Dunlap 3-pointer, an Edmonds right baseline turnaround and an Edmonds 3-point play off a putback.
Redinger had a 12-footer and two free throws in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, VanDerWeele scored all of her points and also assisted twice to Edmonds. Bella Stults also scored on a textbook up-and-under post move to make it 34-2.
Fajardo and Edmonds had four points each in the fourth quarter, and Redinger hit a 3 as Argos found ways to score against Trinity’s 2-3 zone.
“Overall, I think we’ve got enough threats that I don’t think a zone’s going to hurt us too bad,” Jennings said. “We’ve got some inside threats, and I think our shooters, if they keep getting that confidence, we’ve got enough shooters that can knock down the outside shot that I think we’re going to be hard to stop here.”
Edmonds agreed that the team’s defense was better in the second half. She said there was less switching on screens. Instead, players were told to fight through screens.
Offensively, she has developed an on-court rapport with VanDerWeele.
“I’ve been playing with all those girls since elementary, so it’s easier than probably a lot of teams, me and Madi especially,” Edmonds said. “Me and Sophie as well have been playing together forever, and that’s nice.”
Edmonds said Jennings has brought a sense of “unity” and “family” to the program. She also said practices under Jennings have been more demanding this year than under previous coaches. She calls it “a culture of hard work.”
She also said a long soccer season – Argos went to semistate and Edmonds is a midfielder – led to a limited preseason. With those issues overcome, Argos has rebounded since an 0-7 start.
“I think in the beginning there was almost a chemistry issue,” Edmonds explained. “It was getting used to coach Jennings. It’s all coming together very well. I’m happy with how far we’ve come.”
Argos 47, Trinity Greenlawn 6
TRINITY GREENLAWN (6) (1-5, 1-2)
Tess Curran 1 0-0 2, Elanor Balsbaugh 0 0-2 0, Anna Cullinan 1 0-2 2, Mary Curran 0 0-0 0, Audrey Haigh 0 0-0 0, Maggie Karban 1 0-0 2, Paula Davies 0 0-0 0, Clare Cullinan 0 0-0 0, Ava Slack 0 0-0 0, Teresa Pingel 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 3 0-4 6
ARGOS (47) (5-7, 3-1)
Sydney Shepherd 0 2-2 2, Emma Dunlap 1 0-0 3, Sophie Bollenbacher 1 0-0 2, Madi VanDerWeele 2 1-2 5, Lizzy Edmonds 7 3-3 17, Samantha Redinger 2 2-2 7, Bella Stults 1 0-0 2, Carleigh Miller 0 0-0 0, Hannah Hurford 0 0-0 0, Carly Ellis 0 0-0 0, Amanda Fajardo 1 3-6 5, Cailey Markley 2 0-0 4
TEAM: 17 11-15 47
Three-point field goals:
Trinity Greenlawn 0,
Argos 2 (Redinger, Dunlap)
Total fouls: Trinity Greenlawn 13, Argos 8
Turnovers: Trinity Greenlawn 37, Argos 16
Score by quarters
Trinity Greenlawn 0 0 2 4 – 6
Argos 12 9 13 13 – 47