Colby outlasts TMP girls
BY TYLER PARKS
COLBY -- The Colby High School girl's basketball team used the emotions of senior night to push past TMP-Marian on Tuesday night at the Colby Community Building.
Led by seniors Lauren Bell and McKenna Ortner, the Eagles picked up a 57-45 win. Bell and Ortner had 15 and 11 points, respectively.
Colby's guards took advantage of TMP's zone defense early, hitting six from 3-point range in the first half.
"I think we got psyched out when they started hitting those 3s in the beginning and our defense fell apart," TMP senior Annie Mindrup said.
The hot shooting helped the Eagles to a 34-19 halftime lead.
"Right at the end of the first half we switched to man-to-man, and I think we guarded them a little better because they were really hot from the outside," TMP coach Rose McFarland said.
The switch to man defense helped the Monarchs, who came out of the half with a 10-2 run, cutting the Eagle lead to seven before a 5-0 Eagle run ended the quarter.
"I thought the girls responded really well after halftime," McFarland said."I thought defensively we picked it up a little more and offensively we moved (senior Heather Ruder) to the baseline to give her more opportunities, and tried to get the ball inside a little more."
Colby took had an answer for the man-to-man defense in the fourth, though, working the ball inside to junior Haileigh Shull. She had six of her 10 points in the fourth.
Shull was the third Eagle in double-figures. Eight different Eagles scored.
"They did a good job of spreading us out on the offensive side of the ball," Mindrup said.
A Heather Ruder 3-pointer again cut the Eagle lead to seven halfway through the fourth, but Colby had an answer for every Monarch push.
Senior Jenna Schuckman led the Monarch charge with a team-high 15 points.
Ruder and Allison Pfeifer also scored in double digits for the Monarchs. Ruder had 11 and Pfeifer added 10 with a team-high seven rebounds.
"We play solid in the second half. We just got off to a bad start," McFarland said. "I hope we continue playing like this. Colby is a tough team, but we know we can play with anybody."
The Eagles added two more 3-point shots in the quarter and ended the game 9 of 16 from the 3-point line.
Bell was 5 of 5 from the floor, scoring all 15 of her points from the 3-point line.
Colby and TMP both took care of the ball. TMP finished the night with 11 turnovers and Colby had 10.
"Every possession counts when you are playing a good team like Colby," McFarland said.
Even after the slow start, McFarland was confident about the direction of the team with sub-state coming up next week.
"Even though we lost this game I still think we are peaking now, which was our goal when the season started," McFarland said.
"I think we have momentum on our side, we just need to play more consistent."
In addition to it being Senior Night in Colby it was also "Pink Out Night," in honor of women who have fought or are fighting cancer. Before the game Colby honored McFarland as she battles cancer for a second time.
The crowed stood and cheered as she was presented a bouquet of flowers from the Colby team.
Weather permitting, TMP will face Hutchison Trinity on Thursday at Al Billinger Fieldhouse.