Schoolcraft Girls’ Basketball Gets Tough on Defense

By Sean Budlong

The Schoolcraft girls’ basketball team continued a successful season into District Playoffs. The Lady Eagles, 14-5 on the season, beat White Pigeon 48-17 in the first post season game.

Schoolcraft has used defense to set up the offense all season. Head Coach Doug Flynn rotates players early and often to keep fresh legs on the court. This style of play has allowed the Eagles to take early leads and hold off opponents. White Pigeon was just the latest victim of Schoolcraft’s suffocating defense. The Chiefs’ first eight offensive possessions ended in seven Eagle steals and one blocked shot. A 16-0 first-quarter score turned into an easy Eagle victory.

How deep the Eagles play into March will be dependent on how consistently the offense plays. In losses to Galesburg Augusta and Hackett, early leads turned into deficits late in the game. The Eagles averaged 50.5 points in victory, only 33.8 in the five losses.

Schoolcraft’s defense has been led by Kennedy Leighton, Madison Saxman, Sophie Woodhams and Gabi Saxman. If a team can push the ball up court against this group, they encounter strong post play from Wynn Stitt, Amber Overley, and Morgan Warnaar.

Lydia Goble has powered the Eagles’ offense all season. Whether draining three-point shots or driving the lane, Goble is the player that opposing defenses must stop. However, Schoolcraft is not a one-person team. Leighton, both Saxmans and Stitt have led the team in scoring. Concentrate on any one player too much, and her teammates can hurt you. White Pigeon found this out when it lost 8 points to Woodhams and 5 to Overley.

Schoolcraft must bring its best effort in the District Semi Finals, where it will face Centreville (19-1 on the season).

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