Balanced attack, tough defense lifts Jackson to win | Girls basketball

Wolfpack pulls away in the second quarter
By David Pan | Dec 21, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Jackson’s Lauren Schillberg attempts to drive by Kamiak’s Rachel Coleman during a Wesco 4A game Friday, Dec. 14 at Kamiak High School.

Senior Megan Mattison had the hot hands early on and Jackson’s defense shut down Kamiak late in the second quarter to lead the Timberwolves to a 57-36 victory in a Wesco 4A girls basketball game Friday, Dec. 14 at Kamiak High School.

Mattison, who scored a game-high 13 points, connected on three 3-point shots to start the game, as the Wolfpack (2-1 in the league. 4-1 overall) jumped out to an 11-0 lead.

“She got us started out on a positive note,” Jackson coach Corey Gibb said.

The Knights (2-1, 2-4) were able to regroup and a buzzer-beating shot by Kamiak’s Kendall Carroll at the end of the first quarter cut the deficit to 15-12.

Kamiak junior center Brooke Erlandsen then made one of two free throws, as the Knights remained within a pair of 3-pointers of Jackson – 26-20 – with just over two minutes left in the second quarter.
The Wolfpack defense then flexed its muscles, shutting down the Knights for the rest of the second quarter.

Jackson extended its lead with a 9-1 run and went into halftime with a 35-21 lead. The Knights managed to trim the 14-point halftime deficit to 10 points midway through the third quarter but that would be as close as they would get the rest of the contest.

Senior Lauren Schillberg scored 11 points and senior Olivia Skibiel had 10 points.

“I thought we played good team basketball and I think that’s something that we’re going to get going,” Mattison said. “It’s going to be great this season.”

Jackson’s pressure caused problems for Kamiak throughout the game.

“We started out in our zone press and then (Gibb) started making substitutions and we had more of our quick guards rather than our tall long players,” Mattison said. “He wanted to go full court man and I thought it worked well.”

Kamiak coach Brian Norman noted that the Knights struggled with turnovers, especially toward the end of the second quarter.

“Most of our points that we gave up come off of turnovers,” Norman said. “We had a little stretch at the end of the first half where it didn’t seem like we could get it past half court.

“They put some good pressure on us. We just have to be a little more secure with the ball.”

The Wolfpack offense showed patience, which pleased Gibb. Kamiak played a zone defense and Jackson got multiple players involved in the offense.

“We tried to move the ball more,” Gibb said. “We weren’t so quick to fire it up as we have been. We’ve been working a lot on that in practice. We worked a lot on rebounding. I think our rebounding was better than it has been.”

Mattison said that Jackson focused on ball movement.

“We tried to make sure we were moving the ball more and not just getting a one-pass shot,” she said. “We were trying to make their defense move, so we could get a nice open shot.”

If the shot didn’t fall, the Timberwolves made sure to crash the boards.

“I thought our rebounding was really great tonight,” Mattison said. “Everyone was boxing out, which for us has been something that we’ve been trying to consistently get.”

Junior Jordyn Porea led the Knights with 11 points.

Gibb said that the Wolfpack still needs to improve on its defense.

“We still have some work to do moving our feet on defense,” he said. “Keeping our hands off our opponent is going to be important. … We have to just make sure we stay focused for 32 minutes and continue to support each other.”

Gibb also wants to see Jackson build and sustain leads.

“When we get up on somebody, it’s a matter of we’re going to finish you off,” Gibb said. “They’ve got to get that competitive part to them. Let’s just keep pushing. Let’s keep doing what got us the lead.”

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