2-3 Zone Causes Trouble for the Varsity Girls Basketball Team in Their Second Loss

2-3 Zone Causes Trouble for the Varsity Girls Basketball Team in Their Second Loss

Sean Wing, Sports Reporter

Junior Emma Yoder was given a tough assignment on Tuesday night. She was expected to slow down Grand Haven’s best player, Esther Byington.

FHC (1-2) lost to Grand Haven (3-2) 45-24. The Rangers struggled to move the ball all night because of a relentless Buccaneer defense. Grand Haven ran a 2-3 zone the entire game. They pressured the ball and forced turnover after turnover as they rolled to an easy victory. Head coach Kristina Prins said that the Buccaneers played suffocating defense and came out in a zone that they were not expecting.

“They took us out of our game when they went into the zone,” Prins said. “As a coach, we weren’t quite prepared for what they were going to do.”

The first quarter was a defensive struggle. Senior Maddy Smith started the game off with a layup to put the Rangers up 2-0. They would not score again for the entirety of the first quarter. Grand Haven went on a 10-0 run while the Rangers couldn’t get anything going. Their run was fueled by a mixture of great defensive plays and careless turnovers by the Rangers. The Rangers still played solid defense even while their offense was slow out of the gate. Junior Emma Yoder forced three turnovers in a span of five minutes. The quarter ended 10-2 in favor of Grand Haven.

The second quarter went a little better offensively for FHC. Senior Maddy Smith scored four points in the quarter. Junior Madi Winter forced two turnovers that led to a foul and a basket. Senior Paula Shields had two points and added one assist in the second quarter. The first half ended in favor of Grand Haven 23-9.

Madi Winter agreed with her head coach saying that Grand Haven’s defense was really tough to crack.

“Grand Haven did really well defensively,” Madi said. “They knew when and where to trap us. They also did a good job anticipating where the ball was going to go.”

The second half was better offensively for both teams. It was clear that FHC had made adjustments to the zone at halftime, because they came out and moved the ball much more efficiently. FHC nearly doubled it’s first half total in the third quarter alone. The problem for the Rangers: Grand Haven had improved their shooting from the first half and matched every point that the Rangers scored and then some.

Prins believes in her team and knows they are talented. She wants her players to see it for themselves.

“We need to improve our confidence,” Prins said. “We need to have some intensity. The girls need to believe in themselves, because they’re good but they just don’t see it yet.”