Pats drop home loss to Evansville NorthNovember 19, 2019
By COREY STOLZENBACH
LINCOLN CITY — Kim Brown said Heritage Hills resting its legs and improving the offense would be focal points of Wednesday’s practice.
The coach of the Patriots (3-2) said her team had to work twice as hard defensively as Evansville North did in Tuesday’s 63-50 home loss to the Huskies. She a lot of praise for Heritage Hills’ defensive efforts in spite of surrendering 63 points. Brown said the biggest thing, though, was that the Pats weren’t patient enough on offense. She said they didn’t move the ball around enough. They had to rely a lot on outside shooting, making four 3-pointers in the opening half of play. That was equal to the number of 2-point field goals they had in the first 16 minutes.
She said Heritage Hills is still trying to figure out its offense at this point in the season.
“Our offense has got to be our focus right now,” Brown said.
Heritage Hills had a competitive first half with Evansville North on Tuesday, until Kenna Hisle took over in the second half. The Pats did not seem to have an answer to the senior forward for the Huskies. Hisle made of each of Evansville North’s first five buckets in the third quarter, helping expand a Heritage Hills deficit from 29-24 at halftime to a 45-33 hole after three. She finished with a game-high 29 points. Brown said what made Hisle tough to stop was her being inside-out, and added that she had a big height advantage against the likes of junior Avery Neff and sophomores Hadley Lytton and Ella Schnieders for the Pats.
The team got blocked multiple times while trying to orchestrate something inside on offense in the first half. Both times a shot from downtown courtesy of Neff delivered the two leads Heritage Hills enjoyed on Tuesday.
Neff banked one for a 3-2 edge after Huskies senior Gabby Joyner had the opening bucket at the rim. Heritage Hills also rallied to momentarily take a 20-18 edge with less than three minutes to play, though this lead was short lived when freshman forward Jalyn Shelby of Evansville North tied it, 20-20. Hisle had a steal to a layup and made a free throw to put the Huskies out in front for good with 1:56 remaining in the opening half. The Pats at times had challenges staying in front of the ball, which Brown chalked up to the Huskies’ ability to screen.
Heritage Hills also ran into foul trouble, which was also one of the reasons it trailed at the half. The Pats committed 10 fouls in the opening half. The Huskies capitalized in going 10-for-12 at the charity stripe through the first 16 minutes of play, despite the Pats outscoring them, 16-15, in the second quarter. Brown thought mismatching caused a lot of the fouls, and credited Evansville North for not missing free throws.
“When they’re posting our littles inside and they get pinned, you’re desperate and you got to do something to try to keep the ball out of the rim,” she said.
Heritage Hills still had four players in double figures in spite of the loss. Neff led the way with 14. Senior Brianna Quinn and junior Rebekah Gordon scored 12 each, while Lytton posted 11.
Brown anticipates that Evansville Harrison will run a 2-3 trapping zone defense on Thursday. She said it will be interesting to see how the team does because they haven’t faced that type of defense. Brown said the plan in Wednesday’s practice is getting some players to mimic the trap and show what it exposes on the inside to look for openings. She called the Warriors a team that is big inside and a physical bunch that likes to get the offensive rebounds. Therefore, blocking out will be integral. The Pats cruised to a 64-21 win against the Warriors last year.
Thursday’s game will be Heritage Hills’ last until Dec. 3 when it returns home against Tell City. The Pats will have Thanksgiving and the day after off, while practicing the rest of the way.
“We’ll work on some more defensive stuff, and hopefully get some congruency in our offense,” Brown said.
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