|Lady Panthers defeat No. 7 ranked Lindsay, 59-41|
|From Staff Reports|
Feb. 19, 2006 - FARMERSVILLE - Defense won the day, but having three players score in double figures didn't hurt.
The North Hopkins Lady Panthers upset seventh-ranked Lindsay, 59-41, on Friday with a combination of denial defense and an inside-outside scoring triangle of Katy Williams, Ebbonye Johnson and Jessi Mannis.
The victory at Farmersville High School, coming in the area round of the Class A, Div. I playoffs, will send the Lady Panthers (22-10) on to the Region III semifinals on Tuesday where they will play Elkhart Slocum at a site and time to be announced.
The Lady Panthers finally got past the area round, which had been a stumbling block for them in recent years, and head coach Tim Menke attributed it to a disciplined defensive effort.
Lindsay tried to run the Buna offense, which features lobs to the low post and a high post screen-and-roll, but North Hopkins forced the Lady Knights out of it early in the game.
"Our defense really was good tonight," said Menke. "We got them out of their main set early, and they went to a flex offense. They had some success with that until we were able to make adjustments."
The main adjustments came at halftime, with Lindsay (26-3) holding a 26-24 advantage. North Hopkins held the Lady Knights to just four points in the third quarter and outscored them, 35-15, over the final two periods.
"I don't think we ever let them get comfortable offensively," Menke said. "They could never get that lob into the post to the corner of the backboard like they wanted.
"I think our defense was the main factor in us winning tonight."
The inside trio of Williams, Sabra Thomas and Elizabeth McPherson made it difficult on Lindsay's post players.
"I thought McPherson and Thomas really played great defense in the post," Menke explained, " and, of course, Williams had her usual great game."
Williams finished with another double-double of 23 points and 19 rebounds,while McPherson had two points, one rebound, one assist and one steal, and Thomas had two points and two rebounds.
The NH guard duo of Johnson and Mannis gave the Lady Panthers the outside scoring they needed. Johnson finished with 16 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Mannis had 13 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals. Senior guard Nancy Castro added three points, two rebounds and three assists.
Johnson also played a major role defensively in holding Lindsay's Mallory Block to just four points. Chelsea Hermes, the state cross country champion, led Lindsay with 15 points and Brittany Anderle scored 11.
North Hopkins 59, Lindsay 41
North Hopkins - Katy Williams 23, Ebbonye Johnson 16, Jessi Mannis 13, Nancy Castro 3, Elizabeth McPherson 2, Sabra Thomas 2.
Lindsay - Chelsea Hermes 15, Brittany Anderle 11, Christina Eckart 7, Mallory Block 4, Amanda Hess 2, Kaleigh Hess 2.