RACHEL, W.Va. — Although the North Marion girls basketball team took a 12-3 record into Wednesday’s matchup against Lincoln, Huskies coach Mike Parrish believes his team hasn’t consistently displayed the energy his Husky teams have become known for.
That wasn’t any issue against the Cougars, however, with North Marion connecting on five first-quarter 3-pointers to race out to an early lead and never looking back in a 74-41 victory.
“We came out with energy that we’d been lacking all year, and that’s what I told them after the game is we looked like the old Huskies and the team that was playing last year out there flying around with energy, throwing it up and down the floor and hitting shots,” Parrish said. “When we’re like that we’re pretty good.”
By the time the contest was three minutes old, North Marion (13-3) had a trio of players — Cara Minor, Abbie Denham and Hannah Shriver — who had connected from beyond the arc to give the Huskies an 11-2 lead.
Alyssa Tennant and Karlie Denham each made a 3 over the remainder of the opening quarter, though the Cougars (10-2) pulled to within 20-12 at the end of the quarter after Allison Rockwell’s conventional three-point play.
That was the last time Lincoln would trail by single digits though, as North Marion reeled off eight straight points to start the second quarter on four free throws from Taylor Buonamici and two baskets by Abbie Denham.
Tennant and Karlie Denham each made a 3 in the second quarter to give North Marion seven first half treys and send the Huskies into halftime with a 41-20 lead.
Lincoln, meanwhile, hit only 6-of-22 shots over the first two quarters and committed 14 turnovers as it struggled mightily with the Huskies’ fullcourt pressure defense.
“We didn’t do a good job with their pressure but I’ll give them credit — their pressure was very good,” Lincoln coach Rob Hawkins said. “They are probably quicker than I thought they were and they got their hands on so many balls. Even when we didn’t turn it over, it seemed like they were always deflecting it and disrupting our offense.
“I give them a lot of credit there and then when they shoot the ball like that they’re next to impossible to beat. Every person that steps on the floor for them can shoot it, which they proved tonight.”
Things went from bad to worse for the Cougars in the third quarter as North Marion scored the first 17 points of the quarter to build a 38-point advantage.
Shriver started the scoring barrage with a 3 and two free throws before Tennant connected on another triple. Buonamici then made two more free throws and scored consecutive baskets prior to Abbie Denham making 1-of-2 free throws and a Karlie Denham layup.
“When we fly around we can turn teams over. We had our hands up, we were in the passing lanes and anticipating passes,” Parrish said. “When we play like that, we’re a lot better.”
Buonamici led North Marion with 15 points and Shriver followed with 14. Karlie Denham scored 11 points and Abbie Denham added 10 to give the Huskies four double figure scorers. Tennant contributed nine points in the win and Minor added eight.
“Everybody was contributing. We were getting penetration, kicking it out and hitting shots,” Parrish said. “When shots are falling the game is a lot easier and the kids are more excited and focused when the ball is going through the net.”
Half of North Marion’s 24 field goals were 3s. Abbie Denham added eight rebounds in the Huskies’ eighth straight win.
Victoria Sturm led Lincoln with 17 points, while Rockwell grabbed eight boards.
The Cougars finished with 30 turnovers.