NEWVILLE — A second-half adjustment on the offensive end made the difference for Big Spring as they came away with a 41-29 Mid-Penn Colonial victory over visiting Boiling Springs on Tuesday night.
Strong defensive performances in the first half made for some tough sledding for both offenses.
Big Spring used their press to repeatedly turn the ball over and wreak havoc on the Bubblers’ offensive sets, while Boiling Springs employed a triangle-and-two to neutralize youngsters Laney Noreika and Emilee Sullivan.
The number of forced turnovers, steals and tie-ups going to the possession arrow far outnumbered the buckets scored as the Bulldogs held a slight 14-13 lead into the locker room at halftime.
But Big Spring (7-4, 3-2 Colonial) came out of the break with a new game plan: have their ball handlers attacked the basket to draw fouls or get better looks.
The adjustment made the difference between the two defensive-minded teams and the second half wore on.
“We thought we’d open things up with our offense a little bit,” Big Spring head coach Randy Jones said. “We knew coming in they might struggle with our penetration, so we were focused on getting to the basket. It spreads the floor out and lets us get into that driving lane so if things collapse we have other options.”
Junior forward Allison Frick was the primary beneficiary of the drives as she tallied nine of her team-leading 11 points in the final quarter setting up under the basket looking for the extra pass.
“Allison did a nice job sealing backside on that low block,” Jones said. “We work on that daily. She has a big heart.”
Sullivan chipped in 10 and Shelby Miller added eight for the Bulldogs.
Boiling Springs (2-8, 1-4 Colonial) battled until the final buzzer but had few answers once the Bulldogs extended their lead out to double-digits.
Sydney Hemler did her best to keep the Bubblers in the game as the senior played all 32 minutes, tallied 15 points and shadowed Noreika throughout, holding the freshman swing to only three points.
“The main thing for us is 24 turnovers in a game,” Boiling Springs head coach Marisa Elliot said. “That cannot happen.
“The other thing is my kids being able to adjust on the fly. I played six kids, most of them didn’t come out at all and they got tired. We had a couple of lapses the second half and they got some easy buckets on us, but I’m still pretty proud of them.”
Both teams head out on the road for their next game: Boiling Springs visits Littlestown on Thursday with a 7 p.m. tip-off against the Thunderbolts, while Big Spring faces Waynesboro in a Colonial Division matchup Friday night.
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