July 30, 2014

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Lady Archers break open game against Paulding

By STEVE MAJOR

Sportswriter

ANTWERP – The Lady Archers broke open a close game in the second half with pressing defense and solid shooting to roll past the Lady Panthers of Paulding last week 58-41.

With Antwerp holding just 22-19 lead going into the second half, Lady Archers’ coach Kevin Taylor decided to turn up the heat on defense with pressure all over the court. The results were numerous Paulding turnovers and the tight defense also got Paulding away from their game plan.

“It was a totally different game in the second half,” said Taylor. “We turned up the pressure by moving the defense up. We forced a lot of turnovers and we rebounded the ball better.”

“In the second half, our passes were horrible,” said Paulding varsity coach Lyndsi Shininger. “It was our first game and we were tentative. We were not aggressive on offense and just passed the ball around the perimeter and didn’t get it inside, which was our game plan.”

Inside is where Paulding had its most success. Jessica Farr scored a game-high 21 points and pulled down 19 rebounds, 13 on the offensive glass.

“We wanted to get it inside; Antwerp didn’t have anyone who could match up with Jessica. But we stopped doing that in the second half. The guards have to do a better job,” explained Shininger.

“I told the girls at halftime to get into Farr more,” said Taylor. “I told them to get low on her, even if you can’t move her. But we were able to push her a bit further out off the blocks and towards the baseline.”

While Antwerp picked up the “D” in the second half, their offense also hit on all cylinders by scoring 36 points in the final two quarters.

For the game, senior Jessie Arnold led the way with 20 points and sophomore Alexis Jones added 19. Both girls combined outside shooting with aggressive drives to the basket.

“The girls are getting more confidence and more comfortable shooting the ball. And Alexis can just flat out shoot it,” said Taylor.

“Jessie played very well overall. She had a rough first quarter, but from there she picked it up. She had a great driving left-handed layup that shows how good she is,” added the Antwerp coach.

With the win, Antwerp improves to 1-1 on the new season. The victory was also Taylor’s first as a girls’ varsity coach.

“It felt good to get that first win as a coach, but it was even more important for the girls that we didn’t start out 0-2,” said Taylor.

Paulding was able to bounce back from the loss at Antwerp and picked up a win against Edgerton later in the week to even its season record at 1-1.

The Lady Panthers have two games this week. The first was at Hicksville on Tuesday before hosting Allen East Thursday in the NWC season opener.

“We beat Hicksville last year and lost to Allen East,” said Shininger. “But both teams are down a bit this year and we hope to play well against them.”

Antwerp has a very busy week with three games: Edon at home on Tuesday, before away games at Kalida and Fayette on Thursday and Saturday.

The Archers made a clean sweep of the evening by winning the JV game 22-17. The win makes the JV team 1-1 on the season.

“We played like we wanted to win this one,” said Antwerp JV coach Joe Smalley. “We were more confident tonight and positive things happened. We also made a lot of free throws, broke the press and played good defense.”

The Archers were led by Nikki Sanders and Kaiya Jemison, who each scored five points.

Jade Vogel led Paulding with five points, as well.

“We had a slow start, but we played better at the end,” said Paulding JV coach Matt Carr. “But the fouls killed us. We have to play defense with our feet.”