By Travis Whitton
For The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
If defense wins games then that explains how the Daleville girls basketball team was able to go into The Lions Den of Liberty Christian and escape with a 49-20 victory Monday.
The Broncos (11-5) showed what they were made of by forcing Liberty Christian (8-10) into 10 first-quarter turnovers and walking away with a 15-4 lead after the opening period.
Daleville wasn’t about to be content with the lead as it continued to pressure the home team and limited them to 2-of-12 shooting in the second quarter, giving the visitors a 29-9 lead as each team headed to the halftime locker room.
The Broncos outscored the Lions 20-11 in the final 16 minutes and walked away with a school-record 11 victories.
One of the keys to victory, aside from the team’s defensive effort, was the play of 5-foot-8 Jordyn Marshel. She has grabbed 27 rebounds in the last two games, with 11 of those coming against Liberty Christian to go along with 15 points.
Broncos coach Jeff Wickersham said her continuous hustle leads to big plays for his team.
“Usually, she’s undersized. She’s just a hustler,” he said. “She hustles for all the rebounds. She’s one of the captains, and she’s just all-out effort. That’s how a lot of times she gets the rebounds. She just outhustles the other girls.”
Wickersham said the key to his team’s fast start was its defensive effort.
“The key was the defensive pressure,” he said. “That’s what we’ve got to do. That’s the big thing. Our defense leads into some easy baskets for us. That’s what we need to take advantage of.”
Wickersham said his girls are familiar with the Lions through various other sports, and he said that was extra motivation to get a win. He added the Broncos set a goal to hold their opponent to 20 points, and they were pleased to accomplish that goal.
“They know all the girls, and that’s the one (reason) they wanted to beat them,” Wickersham said. “They knew coming in that it’s a possible sectional opponent. That’s one thing that we set — individual goals. Our goal was to hold them to 20 points, and we did that.”
Liberty Christian coach Paul Jessup said his girls didn’t play disciplined basketball until the second half, but he feels that is motivation for his girls if they are to meet the Broncos in sectional play.
“Daleville is a veteran, disciplined team. They are a very disciplined team and well coached,” he said. “I honestly think at halftime we got out of our discipline and we kind of panicked a little bit, but when we run what we need to run, and we’re starting to click on defense a little bit, then they can do good things — and they believe it. I think that’s why the second half was better for us than the first.”
Daleville had three players score in double figures, with Brandi Granger and Jaime Roberts connecting for 12 and 11 points, respectively, to go along with Marshel’s game-high 15 points.
Seniors Lindsey Kardatzke and Myra Vance scored six and five points, respectively, to lead the Lions. Vance also led her team with eight rebounds as Liberty Christian outrebounded the Broncos 31-28.