Dateline, Roswell. Ga. – As an anonymous country sage once intoned, “Sometimes you are the windshield, sometimes you are the bug.” Invariably each team finds themselves on each side of this equation at least once each season. On this particular night Cottage found themselves on the short end of the stick, as they encountered a highly talented Brandon Hall squad.
In many ways, the first eight minutes provided Cottage with their best all around quarter of the match. Knowing that the All – GISA combo of Elda Urkmez and J. Moore can fill the nets up in a hurry, the Lady Cougars keyed in on the Turkish phenome, holding her scoreless for the full frame. Unfortunately, Urkmez’s point guard counterpart connected on five shots to account for all 10 of her team’s points. In return, the Cougars showed great difficulty in scoring themselves. Senior Maria Knezek did score on a fast break lay-up while absorbing a hard foul from an out of place defender.
The eight point edge for Brandon Hall seemed surmountable, but offensive miscues continued to bedevil Cottage throughout the rest of the night. In the second, Brandon Hall used turnovers and ensuing fast breaks to buy some easy baskets, as Lady Panthers’ dynamic duo each notched 7 second quarter points apiece.
In the second half, three different Lady Cougars tallied scores, while the team also experimented with some novel lineups. Brandon Hall continued to blaze away in the third quarter, piling on 14 points, but cooled considerably in the fourth, as Cottage limited them to four points.
Tuesday’s action marked a return of the Cottage’s three headed center attack. Shakirah Wazeerud-Din led her team with 6 rebounds. She also passed for an assist, gathered a steal, and scored 2 on a fourth quarter power move. Tracy Li came off the bench as the first reserve. Li battled for 3 rebounds and provided sound double teaming action from her position in the zone. Leighton Braglia answered the call in both the first and second half. She grabbed her second offensive board of the season.
Emma Altermatt drew the start and ran the floor effectively. Alyssa Briggs carried point guard responsibilities for most of the night, and often drew the unenviable task of matching up with Moore on defense. Maria Knezek grabbed 6 steals, blocked 1 shot, scored 2 points, and grabbed 4 rebounds.
Although Ana Mills did not score a boatload of points, Mills did put together a fine game. She gathered 2 steals, recorded 3 rebounds, and nailed a free throw. Mills also excelled in transition defense, helping to break up at least three Brandon Hall fast break opportunities.
Emmi Dillehay grabbed a rebound, and went to the floor several times in pursuit of loose balls. Lillian Travis came alive with her most consequential minutes of the young season, spending a good portion of the last quarter handling point guard duties. Although she only recorded a rebound, she forced the issue on offense, getting the ball into the paint, and ran the floor well on defense. Maxine Moore, Eleanor Gaffneystone, and Hannah Katz did not enter tally marks on the stat sheet, but they all “took the bull by the horns” and mixed it up on the perimeter to slow the Lady Panthers’ attack. Malia Richards got into the act by hauling down a defensive board. Backcourt mates Alex Nebel and Finley Love also found ways to fill the stat lines. Nebel scored on a conventional (two point) field goal, while also gaining a steal, and bringing down 1 board on each side of the court. Love outfoxed her foes to win an offensive board and also stole 1 ball.
The Ladies return to conference play on Friday evening in a BIG game against The Howard Hawks, in a game that will determine who gains first place as the conference regular season enters the 1/3 mark.