By Travis Whitton
For The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
The Alexandria girls basketball team came into Anderson Preparatory Academy needing a win, and that is exactly what it got with a 61-30 decision Tuesday night.
The Tigers (2-9) were riding a six-game losing streak, and Anderson Prep started out the game looking like it was going to make it just that — a game.
After the first quarter, the Jets (3-5) trailed by just five points and they were still in the game at the half, trailing 27-17. They closed the gap to 27-20 after a 3-pointer by Justice Stephens, but Alexandria went on a 13-0 run and increased its lead to 20 points with 3:13 remaining in the third period.
Peyton Quinn led the Tigers with eight points at the half, and they got a spark off the bench from Morgan Oliver with four points and four rebounds in the half.
All totaled, the visitors outscored their counterparts 18-5 to take a commanding 45-22 lead heading into the final stanza, and their lead never dropped below 13 points the rest of the game.
Alexandria coach Tina Bolte’s team needed a win to give it a boost of confidence, and she felt like this game served the Tigers well.
“We needed this,” she said. “We’ve been on the other end of this for quite a few games now. I was talking to their coach before the game, and he even said, ‘You’re better than your record.’ I really believe that, and I thought we came out tonight and did a nice job of just staying disciplined and doing what we do.”
Bolte said one of the goals that she set for her girls coming into the game was to hold the Jets to 30 points, which was exactly what they did.
She said it can be tough for teams to get any confidence unless they see wins, and she felt like this game would give her girls some of that much needed confidence going forward.
“I think we’ve been improving,” Bolte said. “We’ve been trying to go without Shana (Kelly), and learn how to find new roles. It’s getting a little reward for some hard work that we’ve been doing.”
One of those players in a new role was Oliver, who finished with 12 points and six rebounds. Bolte said it was a great game for players like Oliver to get more varsity experience.
“They needed this, and it was actually a pretty tough atmosphere to stay disciplined in,” Bolte said. “So I was extra proud of the effort on that part of just keeping a cool head and do what needed to be done.”
APA coach Ryan Fathauer said his girls played a solid first half, but he felt like they let the physical play of the Tigers get the best of them in the second half.
“We feel like most games — and we talked about this in the locker room — we’ve come out pretty focused early on, and we tend to do that in the first quarter midway through the second,” he said. “We try to handle that. We get frantic sometimes in double teams, and I feel like that has been a struggle as far as keeping our focus to the game plan the whole game.”
Fathauer had a lengthy team meeting after his girls’ 31-point loss, and he said the focus was on keeping their composure when faced with the adversities that come up throughout a game.
“Just that we can learn from this,” he said of his message after the game. “Sometimes the officials’ calls aren’t going to go our way all the time. It was a pretty aggressive game on both sides, and we just got to keep our composure.”