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Apaches use defense to grind out win

By Eric Hinderliter - ctreporter@indy.rr.com

It was ugly on both sides in the Eastbrook Lady Panthers’ match-up with Wabash Tuesday night.

Beset by 26 turnovers and never able to find an offensive rhythm to suit them, the Panthers fell to the Apaches 36-24.

Even in getting the victory, the Apaches turned the ball over 17 times themselves.

“It was not one of our better performances,” noted Eastbrook coach Jeff Liddick.

“But, the effort was there. We were on the floor after every loose ball.”

Eastbrook ran into a strong defensive effort by the Apaches.

Wabash set the tone from the start by scoring points off of Eastbrook turnovers generated by the Apache full-court pressure.

In spite of the early turnovers and facing an 8-2 deficit late in the first quarter, Kylie Standfest got the Panthers back in the game with buckets on back to back possessions.

As would be the case multiple times in the game, the Apaches always seemed to have an answer to break the Panthers’ momentum.

In this case, points by Tabatha Wagner and Carmen Higdon built the Apache lead up to 13-6 at the end of the first quarter.

“It’s been lapses both defensively and offensively this year that has been our Achilles heel,” said Liddick.

Baylee Ditsler and Standfest each scored in the second quarter to draw Eastbrook to within five points only to see Bailey Yoakum score the final seven points of the first half to double up the Panthers 22-11 at the half.

A strong start to the second half again gave the Panthers some momentum. A 9-4 run spurred by Sarah Foulk’s four points and five more from Standfest cut the lead to 26-20 late in the third quarter.

“I thought if we could get a stop,” Liddick said. “But we had a lapse on defense and they (Wabash) knocked down a three.”

Liddick was encouraged by the play of his club in the second half and their overall shooting.

They hit ten of their 22 total shots on the night, although a lower number of shots than Liddick sees as needed for their success.

“It came down to turnovers,” Liddick said.

“We gave them (Wabash) 26 extra possessions.”

Standfest led the Eastbrook scorers with 13 points while Foulk backed her up with 10. Ditsler scored the other three points.

Coming off the bench, Ditsler provided her usual spark defensively and picked up six rebounds.

Wabash, now 9-8 on the season, was led by Yoakum’s 16 points and Higdon’s 12.