Girls Basketball: T.F. South works past Rich East
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media January 13, 2014 10:38PM
Ashley Dennis, of Rich East, takes a shot against T.F. South. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 15, 2014 6:22AM
There are nights in a long season when the ball just doesn’t want to cooperate; for example, too many turnovers, not enough baskets made.
How does a team counter it? Monday night against Rich East, T.F. South followed a tried and true formula.
“At the beginning of the season, coach (Steve) ‘B’ (Breshock) talked about toughness was going to be a big factor for us,” T.F. South’s Ninah Bertrand said. “We want it to be a factor for us, mentally tough and physically tough.”
Gutting its way through an ugly game, visiting T.F. South claimed a 60-51 win, improving to 13-2.
Bertrand (13 points, 7 rebounds), Cece Keys (12 points) and Ren’ Cia Rolling (12 points, 6 assists) led the way for the Rebels. T.F. South shot 23-of-51 from the field and committed 15 turnovers.
“We’ve only had two practices since our Christmas break, but that’s what happens sometimes, and we fought hard,” Breshock said. “We battled through it.”
After closing the first half on a 6-0 run to go up 28-20 at halftime, the Rebels kept on running into the third. Keys’ eight points in the quarter sparked South, which shot a sizzling 9-of-14 from the floor during the period.
Rolling highlighted the run with an athletic layup, hanging in the air to steer clear of a Rich East defender, to put T.F. South up 34-20 early in the quarter.
“I think the switch went off in all of our heads that it was time to push,” Bertrand said. “That’s what we did.”
After struggling mightily from the floor, Rich East (6-8) finally started clicking in the fourth, shrinking a deficit that was as big as 19 down to eight points with 24 seconds to go in the game.
Rich East’s Jada Banks sparked the fourth-quarter effort, scoring 12 of her 22 points in the period. Ashley Dennis finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds, below her averages of 22 points and 16 rebounds.
“We came together as a team and tried our best to keep our composure,” Bertrand said. “We knew we had to play our game, not theirs.”
Rich East finished 20-of-65 from the floor.