MALVERN - A 17-6 fourth-quarter run proved the difference for East Mills as South Page rallied from a seven-point deficit to post a 52-50 Corner Conference victory on Friday.
The loss comes in what East Mills coach Brian Bertini calls his team’s most complete game of the year.
“This was the first time all year I felt like we actually played to win,” said Bertini. “We played four quarters of basketball. The intensity was better, the execution was better. We got better shots. We just missed some opportunities.”
The Wolverines played an even first half with the Rebels’ leading 21-19 at the half using a three-man, two person zone.
East Mills came out after halftime to out score South Page 17-10 in the third quarter, ending the frame on a 10-3 run to grab a 36-29 lead.
But the Rebels wouldn’t go quietly, responding with a 17-6 run over the first 3:44 of the fourth quarter to go back ahead 46-42.
The Wolverines would get no closer than four points over the final four minutes until Gabbi Sowers’ 14 footer with :01 left in the game.
Bertini agreed the 17-6 fourth-quarter run was key, but he felt a potential run for his team in the first half thwarted by a missed layup and turnover to follow were just as important.
“The turning point to me was the second quarter when we were up nine and when we missed that lay up, they come down and score, we turn it over and they get fouled and make both,“ he said. “I really think we out played them. We get that bucket we’re up 11 and maybe the game’s over.”
The Wolverines’ Jensen Duysen, who hadn’t practiced all week after sitting out with the flu, led all scorers with 16 points. The sophomore also grabbed seven rebounds.
Katie Fritz added 11 points and nine rebounds and Gabbi Sowers 10 points.
East Mills 25
The East Mills girls basketball team was outscored 37-9 over the second and third quarters in a 56-25 non-conference loss to A-H-S-T last Monday.
The Wolverines (0-8 overall, 0-3 in the Corner Conference) played even with the Vikings over the first eight minutes but couldn't sustain that intensity the rest of the game, said East Mills coach Brian Bertini.
“We had a great first quarter, outplaying the Lady Vikes with good pressure defense and aggressiveness. but we kind of lost that edge in the second quarter and missed too many good opportunities to stay close,” said Bertini. “We have glimpses of good play, but we are still struggling with maintaining that consistent play for long stretches. We are still turning the ball over way too much and not playing confident when faced with some pressure defense.”
East Mills turned the ball over 31 times and shot just 25 percent from the field (9-of-36) in the loss. A-H-S-T also held a 34-22 rebounding edge.
“The girls are improving but our youthfulness and inexperience still shows at times--especially against physical and more experienced teams like AHST,” said Bertini.
With leading scorer and rebounder Jensen Duysen sitting out the game with an illness, Katie Fritz led East Mills with 11 points and seven rebounds.