LEO-CEDARVILLE – Carrie Shappell did not channel Rockne, as it turned out.
There were no Herb Brooks This Is Your Time moments, no snippets of Vince Lombardi materializing from the great beyond.
No, sir. It wasn’t halftime speechifying that turned around the Leo girls’ ACAC showdown with Woodlan on Friday.
It was just plain old halftime adjusting, not to mention buckling down.
I wish I could take credit for the halftime speech, Shappell said after Leo (10-3, 4-1) ran Woodlan out of the gym in the second half to hand the Warriors their first conference loss, 70-52. You know what I think? We probably made the right adjustments, and one thing I would say is I think our girls worked at 110 percent tonight.
That was huge for us.
And disastrous for Woodlan (8-4, 4-1), which used an 8-0 run to close out the first quarter and a 12-3 run at the end of the second to keep Leo from getting away.
The first run erased a 14-6 Lions lead and sent the game into the second quarter tied at 14. The second made a memory of a 27-17 Leo bulge and left the Lions clinging to a 30-29 halftime edge.
Then came the third quarter, and that was a memory, too.
With Keanna Gary and Tia Lindsey going to work inside, and Taylor Seiss spearheading a ravenous Leo press that shook loose 18 Woodlan turnovers, the Lions scored 16 of the first 20 points of the second half, and this time they didn’t allow Woodlan to answer. By the end of the third a one-point halftime lead had ballooned to 56-38, as the Lions closed the third with a 10-2 burst.
We didn’t want them to get any runs or any momentum, because they definitely did at the end of the first half, said Seiss, who finished with 22 points. We just wanted to figure out a way to stop it and figure out a way to stop their threes. Just go on our own runs and take the lead.
That’s one thing we talked about, is we’ve got to become a team that if we go on a run that doesn’t mean that four minutes later they get to make their run, too, she said. And so I thought our girls did a really good job of kind of buckling down and controlling a little bit more of the pace on defense.
Besides Seiss, the main weapon for Leo was Gary, who missed her first seven shots but finished with 23 points, 14 in the second half, and 15 rebounds. Jenna Beer added 12 points and Lindsey scored eight, all in the second half and almost all on second effort.
Haley Hostetler and Brooke Gerbers scored 14 points apiece to lead Woodlan, which dropped nine three-pointers.
Obviously they were shooting the lights out of the ball, Shappell said. But that really improved for us in the second half, and then too I think we put a little more pressure on and that helped us a lot.