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The La Salle-Peru girls basketball team has been struggling a bit offensively lately, including a 20-point loss Tuesday night to Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference West Division foe Sterling.
Wednesday night against Hall, the Lady Cavaliers used some strong first-quarter defense to help break out of their slump.
L-P worked a newly installed 1-2-2 defensive pressure to wreak havoc against the Lady Red Devils.
The zone press forced early turnovers and led the Lady Cavs to 19 first-quarter points en route to a 44-25 non-conference victory.
“They played very well,” L-P coach Hollis Vickrey said of his squad. “We did a little 1-2-2 trap at the beginning of the game that we haven’t done all year and we executed it very well. I was very pleased with the intensity, the way we shared the ball and rebounded. We looked for each other and played for each other.
“(The strong first quarter) gets the monkey off the back — it’s good to start well and play the whole game. We have good shooters, we just haven’t been hitting shots lately. Defensively, we haven’t been as good as we can be either. But this is a good game today for trying a little of the 1-2-2 and they did well with it.”
The Lady Cavs, who had all 14 girls on the roster see action, couldn’t keep up their first-quarter pace and were outscored 8-6 by Hall in the second quarter. However, the early cushion held up for a 25-10 halftime lead.
L-P made sure there would be no doubts as it held Hall to just four points in the third quarter to make things academic with a 41-14 lead heading into the fourth. Brittany Zawacki led the way with 13 points for La Salle-Peru (6-11).
Brianna Argubright had seven points and six rebounds, while Mia Porter also had seven points and Hannah Wolfe had a team-best seven rebounds.
“Everyone played tonight and everybody hustled and played as hard as they could. They were happy to get in,” said Vickrey of his liberal usage of his full complement of reserves throughout the game.
Emily Hoscheid and Nicki Ernat tied for the Hall scoring lead with six points apiece. Becca Herrmann led the Lady Red Devils with eight rebounds.
“We had a lot of turnovers again and the girls did not shoot the ball very well. That’s a bad combination,” said Hall coach Mike Struna, whose squad had 24 turnovers in the contest and shot just 14 percent (7-for-50 from the field).
The Lady Cavs also finished with 24 turnovers, and shot 16-for-63 (25 percent) from the field.
Chris Yucus can be reached at 220-6995 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsChris.
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