Defense and Balanced Scoring Leads Lady Tigers to 63-52 Victory Over Lincoln Christian
The Lady Tigers got off to a bit of a sluggish start Friday night against Lincoln Christian as the Red Lions came in looking to make a statement against the host Tigers. The Lions, and their high scoring duo of Moriah Kirkpatrick and Tatiana Colclasure, jumped out to a 12-7 lead in the opening minutes of the game. The Lady Tigers responded by tightening up their pressure defense and raced back to a 29-19 lead with five minutes left in the first half. The Tiger offense sputtered for the rest of the half, however, with key offensive sparkplugs Anna Iwaniw and Molly Holtrop on the bench with two fouls each. Grace would go into the half with a slim 29-23 lead.
Lincoln opened the scoring in the second half, but they would never be able to take over the lead in the game. The GBC pressure defense was too much for the Red Lions to handle and the lead quickly got back to double figures and would remain so for the rest of the game.
The calling card for the Lady Tigers on offense all season has been balance, but lately, Anna Iwaniw (Kent City H.S.) has been consistently leading the way in the scoring column. The Red Lions implemented a box and 1 defense on Iwaniw and between that and foul trouble, limited her to 4 points. The Red Lions found out that the GBC Tigers are no one person show as four other Tigers reached double figures. Amy Leszinske (Ravenna H.S.) played arguably her finest game in a Tiger uniform and led the Tigers in scoring and rebounding with 15 and 8 respectively. Molly Holtrop (Cedar Springs H.S.) had 13, Megan Scholtens (Quad City H.S.) scored 11, and Abby Schultz (Holland Calvary H.S.) chipped in 10 to lead the scorers. The Tigers shot 38% from the floor while the Red Lions shot 40%, however the Tigers took 13 more shots in the game. Colclasure and Kirkpatrick came into the game averaging over 35 points between them and were held to nearly 10 points below their averages.
Another key to the victory was the Tigers winning the rebounding battle over the much taller Red Lions 42-39. In addition to Leszinske's efforts, Sydney Wildeboer (Kent City H.S.) was a force on the boards with 7 off the bench and gave the Tigers a needed physical presense inside.
"It was a nice win for our team," Coach Renzema said on the victory. "We knew that Lincoln wanted this game badly and that it would be a tightly contested game. Our offense is still a work in progress, but our defense has been improving lately and I thought that was the difference in the game."
"We got key efforts from a lot of different people tonight. We have 13 on our roster and we have confidence in each of them that they can make solid contributions when called upon. It is a nice luxury to have depth."
The Lady Tigers face a tough game on Saturday as they travel to Chicago to take on Moody Bible Institute in another key regional matchup.