ANDERSON — In sports, timing can be everything. Unfortunately for the Muncie Southside Lady Rebels, timing can also be a killer.
In their final matchup with the old Olympic conference rival, the Anderson Lady Tribe dominated from start to finish on their way to a 102-26 win Tuesday night at Anderson High School.
Coming off of a tough loss to Lawrence North and facing another tough game Saturday against North Central, Anderson coach Chad Cook did not allow his team to take a night off against a Southside squad that is in their final year of existence.
“It was the wrong place on the schedule for Muncie Southside” Cook said. “In between Lawrence North and North Central, we don’t have a chance to let up any. We’re trying to build through a long season, this is one step closer to what we’re trying to build.”
Anderson started fast, jumping to a 16-1 lead on its way to a 26-9 edge after the first quarter. The Lady Tribe did it with defense and an unselfish style of play on the offensive end of the court. Muncie Southside had six turnovers in the quarter and only three made baskets.
The balance and unselfishness showed on the scoresheet for Anderson as six players had points in the quarter, led by Chelsea Bentley’s seven. Anderson continued the same style in the second quarter and led 50-15 at the break.
With a 35-point lead at halftime, the challenge for Anderson in the second half was going to be more of letting up or keeping their foot on the pedal. Cook challenged his team in the huddle prior to the start to stay sharp and mentally tough.
The Lady Tribe responded, forcing 10 Lady Rebel turnovers in the third quarter and outscoring Southside 26-3. “We really wanted to focus on being mentally tough,” Cook said. “Even being up 40, you can get lackadaisical. We lost mental toughness against Lawrence North, we let that (game) slip away mentally. Tonight we jumped on it and stayed on it, I’m real proud of them.”
The Lady Tribe did not use a press or double teams, but forced Muncie Southside into turnover after turnover by not allowing passes over the top of the defense. Cook substituted liberally and brought five new players into the game with 5 minutes left in the fourth. The younger players did not let up either, as Anderson outscored Muncie Southside 26-8 in the final stanza.
Anderson was led by Dabriona Williams’ 19 points, Ania Daniels had 17, Chelsea Bentley had 14 and Da’Sha Boyd had 13. Hadessah Jackson scored 17 points to lead Muncie Southside.
Samia Carter dished out eight assists as Anderson finished with 32 assists for the game and only 12 turnovers. Anderson out-rebounded Muncie 36-14, Williams, Jacie Dickerson and Mya Morgan all had five rebounds apiece. Of the 39 Lady Rebel turnovers, 26 were steals by the Lady Tribe.
Anderson (2-1) will travel to North Central Saturday while Muncie Southside (1-2) will be at New Castle.