The Saint Francis Lady Wolves improve to 5-3, winning 35-25 against the Union County Lady Tigers. The 35-25 win by the Lady Wolves makes it four straight wins, and five victories in the last six games. It was a solid game by Saint Francis after the slow start, with plenty of adjustments made that factored in the comeback.
Defense Improved as the Game Moved Along
The start for the Lady Wolves was rather slow. They did not score a basket in the first 4 minutes and were down 9-0 early on. Union County’s 2-3 zone was doing well containing the offense for Saint Francis, which forced Coach Josh Kerkau to call a timeout.
The half-court zone by the Lady Wolves turned into a full-court press for a few plays, then switched back to the zone. The change of defensive formation allowed Saint Francis to get into the game as a whole. Kerkau credits his players for being able to get back into the game defensively, despite the poor start they had.
The Lady Wolves were only down 3 going into the second quarter after freshman Allie Dey hit a three-pointer to close out the first. In the following three quarters, Saint Francis only allowed a combined 12 points to Union County. Their defense aided their transition offense and got some easy baskets as a result.
When I asked Coach Kerkau about his team’s improved play after going down, he said,
“When we got down 9-0, I was not necessarily surpised, I was disappointed, but not surprised. But the way they fought back to get back into this game and then take the game over, that is what I was looking for.”
Efficient and Aggressive Play in the Second Half
The Lady Wolves were up 20-15 at the half but still knew that they needed more. Going into the third quarter, Saint Francis became more aggressive in trying to get into the paint and draw fouls. That plan worked out well, as they were in the bonus with 1:06 left in the third. Combining that with their decent success from the free-throw line, allowed the Lady Wolves to extend their lead to as much as 11.
Another component of the aggressive and efficient play for Saint Francis was the inbound passes. The box formations that Coach Kerkau used created many chances for his players in the frontcourt. Maintaining possession was a huge factor in the second half, and it allowed the Lady Wolves to control the game for most of the half.
With this win, Saint Francis is hoping to continue their winning ways on Thursday against the Bell Bulldogs. Coach Kerkau did mention that his team still needs to fix a few small things on offense, but says there is progress with this team as a unit with moving the ball around.