Girls Junior Varsity Basketball, Girls Varsity Basketball · Lady Stars pull away from Monrovia in second half

Nov 8, 2018

Megan Alexander had to get into her Lady Stars at halftime Thursday night against Monrovia.

Western Boone led 27-23 at the half, but Alexander wasn’t happy about the sloppy play the Stars had to get to the lead. Whatever she said at the half worked, as the Stars pulled away throughout the second half and topped the visiting Bulldogs 56-37.

“We had a little conversation at halftime and I didn’t feel like we were playing to our potential,” Alexander said. “I set them a turnover goal with a little bit of a consequence if we reached that mark. I think it lit a fire under them a bit, we started taking care of the basketball and instantly had more energy on defense. When you have energy on defense, it transfers to offense. We went on a stretch there and were able to pull away, but we should have been doing that the whole game.”

The Stars led by two at the end of a quarter, and built the lead to five midway through the second before settling for a four-point lead.

Alexander said the problems for the Stars started on the defensive end.

“We were just really poor in our defensive positioning,” Alexander said. “We didn’t get a lot of forced turnovers, and we have to get better at that. We were opening up too much on traps, and letting (Madison Payne) drive wherever she wanted, not being disciplined on defense. That carried over to anything else.”

One part of the first half that could be big for the Stars down the road is that they were able to build the lead without much scoring from leading scorer Madison Jones.

The senior guard picked up three fouls in the first half which limited her time on the court, and she had just three points. With her being held in check, Lauryn Florey and Addy Bascom stepped up, scoring 13 and seven points respectively in the first half.

Alexander said there will be games throughout the season that teams work to take away Jones, so the other girls have to be ready.

“One thing that does happen when Madi sits down with foul trouble is our girls tend to execute and move the ball really well,” Alexander said. “In the zone, Kara (Brewer), Hillary (Reed), Addy, Lauryn and Tori (Wilkinson) were moving the ball and making their zone reverse. We were able to get some good high-percentage lay-ups.”

The Stars led by five with 4:48 to play in the third quarter, and then clamped down on defense.

Western Boone allowed just three points during the next 8:56, building the lead to 18 points.

Jones had eight of the Stars’ 16 points in the stretch, and finished with a team-high 18. Monrovia never got closer than 16 the rest of the way.

Florey finished with 17, with Bascom scoring nine, Brewer seven and Wilkinson five.

The Stars only played six girls throughout the game, but Alexander said thy will be looking to expand their bench in the upcoming games.

“Emily Voils has been playing great, and I should have gotten her in more,” Alexander said. “She works hard in practice and she does well in games, but it was one of those games where I never felt like we had control of the game until the very end, and turnovers and ball handling were an issue. We have to get some more confidence in Emily and her ball-handling, but she has done a great job. For our legs down the line, we are going to have to rotate more.”

The Stars are now 2-1 on the season and host Plainfield next Tuesday.

Alexander said there are things the Stars have to clean up if they want to beat the Quakers.

“We have to execute,” Alexander said. “Curt Benge is a mastermind in dissecting whatever defense you throw out there. We can’t have lapses in our execution, offensively or defensively. We cut corners and do the little details wrong and they have to understand that those details matter. Moving forward, the practices will all be focused on the details and doing those little things right.”