Dateline: Woodstock, Ga. On Wednesday afternoon the Lady Cougars put their three game winning streak on the line as they paid their third ever visit to Lyndon Academy. The Lady Terriers posed a threat to TCS, as evidenced by their credentials as GCISSA final four participants last spring, and by their continued elite level of play this season.
The Lady Terriers struck early, capitalizing on smooth transition points and offensive rebounds to ring up nine quick points. Just as it looked like Lyndon would run their upstart guests out the building, the Cougars found a reprieve on the shoulders of junior Alex Nebel. Channeling her inner Steph Curry, Nebel received a swing pass from Maria Knezek and splashed home a trey. Immediately TCS forced a turnover and again activated their offense, with predictable results. This time Alyssa Briggs facilitated the swing from one end of the court to the other, placing the ball in the hands of Nebel who took the time to measure, and drain, a second consecutive three pointer. After receiving this jolting slap, Lyndon amped up their execution and ran off nine more points to close out the first quarter. Lyndon did not take their foot off the accelerator, as they rolled up 15 second quarter points. Again Nebel delivered the Lady Cougar’s rejoinder, on the strength of yet another trifecta.
At the half, TCS identified ways to reclaim their mo jo on the boards, and to up the ante on the transition game. The second half certainly showed improvement in those critical area, but the offense did not flow any easier. Nebel could not buy a three, so others went to work. Shakirah Wazeerud-Din drew a foul and a trip to the line. Briggs tossed in three in the final frame on the strength of a foul shot and a strong move to the hoop.
Just as iron sharpens iron, the Lady Cougars hope to learn from their experience against such an accomplished opponent. Conference play renews on Friday afternoon as the Lady Cougars host Atlanta Area School of the Deaf, in a game fraught with implications for playoff seeding.
In this contest the Lady Cougar’s youth movement logged significant minutes, especially in the second half. Guard Finley Love jumped off the bench in both halves, grabbing an offensive rebound, while also stepping into the passing and dribbling game. Seventh grader Hannah Katz, and sixth graders Malia Richards and Eleanor Gaffneystone all shared perimeter duties on defense, and looked for their shots on the perimeter. Lillian Travis and Maxine Moore also logged time in the backcourt, adding pressure to the Terrier ball handlers. Natalia Hoeve showed a high level of activity, as evidenced by her offensive board, and some daring shots in the lane.
In the same manner, many players came off the bench to spell the frontcourt. Shakirah Wazeerud-Din came off the bench to claim rebound leadership for her team with 7 boards. She also threw down a blocked shot. Emma Altermatt claimed a steal of her own, while Emmi Dillehay, Tracy Li, and Leighton Braglia ran the floor well, and added muscle to the inside game.
Anna Mills and Alex Nebel provided the starting punch from the pivot. Mills gathered a steal, and ran down an offensive rebound. Nebel led the way with 9 points, along with a blocked shot, 3 steals, and 4 rebounds.
Larissa Brient, Alyssa Briggs, and Maria Knezek rounded out the starting lineup. Brient continued to provide energy as evidenced by her 3 steals, and offensive rebound. Briggs finished with the previously described 3 fourth quarter points, along with 4 steals, 1 assist, and 5 rebounds (1 offensive). Knezek led her team with 7 steals, handed out 2 assists, while also claiming 2 rebounds.