Scottie Girls Amp Up The Intensity
Glasgow's String Of Close Games Recently Has Many Believing A Page Has Turned
Quinn Robinson / For The Courier
Malta guard Sophia Stiles dribbles the ball against the defense of Glasgow's Amanda Wolff (5) on Thursday night.
On paper it wasn't supposed to be close.
That's not a knock to the effort that Glasgow girls basketball head coach Emilee Morehouse expects from her team each and every time her squad takes the court, but they were squaring off against an undefeated Malta squad.
A Malta squad that has seemingly run circles around its competition thus far.
Friday night proved to be a tough challenge for Malta as Glasgow showed a fire and intensity that even caught Morehouse by surprise at the end of the game.
The Scotties took the court and hung with Malta for three plus quarters before Malta proved to be a little too much for Glasgow on this night.
Even with Malta claiming a 45-34 victory over Glasgow as the final buzzer sounded. There was a sense that this game was a turning point for the girls this season.
"I couldn't be more proud of the effort they put out there tonight," said Morehouse. "They stepped it up and played so tough."
Malta's head coach Nate Hammond had to gather his thoughts for a minute after the game while analyzing what just happened on the court.
"They played good defense," said Hammond. "We had a little trouble getting the ball in the basket. We weren't quite ready for how well they played on defense."
Hammond said that it was the tenacity Glasgow showed on defense that took the dangerous Malta offense out of rhythm and required the M-Ettes to grind out the victory.
The Scotties defense started with the play of the guards on the perimeter. Both Amanda Wolff and Abbi Kolstad were in the faces of Malta's guards all night. When Malta was able to get around the duo, they then had to worry about post player Lexis Synan who had a monster of a game.
Synan's play on the defensive side is something that Morehouse has been waiting to see from her senior player.
It couldn't have showed up in a more important game.
Synan gave fits to any Malta player who entered the paint and once the shot was up it seemed like Malta could try whatever they wanted to try, but Synan was going to come away with the rebound.
"Malta is our biggest competition and I knew they were going to be a tough team," said Synan. "I just came ready tonight."
Did she ever.
Her aggressiveness on the defensive side of the ball carried over to the offensive side as well.
Synan was constantly attacking the basket and drawing fouls. Scoring 16 points for the game, Synan had eight of those come from free-throws in which she shot 8-10 from the line.
The following night, Glasgow traveled to Poplar and the previous night's performance against Malta energized the Scotties as they went out and turned what was a close game after one quarter into a 44 point blowout as Glasgow defeated Poplar 64-20.
The win total is now two on the season for the Scotties, but the win-loss record is no indication to how good this team has been playing the last couple of weeks. It will be interesting to see if they can keep this style of play going, but looking at the attitudes of the players and see the confidence as they walk off the court now, they just might be able to.
On Tuesday, the girls hosted Glendive in what turned out to be a tough battle for the Scotties. Glendive left Glasgow with a 42-38 victory over the Scotties who have been playing a more sound game as of late.
The Scotties only managed 12 points at the half, but came out in the third quarter and scored 15 to put themselves back in the game.
Glasgow girls head coach Emilee Morehouse said that although her team hit a bump in the road tonight, she's noticed a difference in their execution and performance over the past couple of weeks.
"They've had tremendous improvement," Morehouse said. "They started playing a lot tougher and things started clicking for them."
The Scotties travel to Sidney on Friday before returning to Glasgow on Saturday to face Wolf Point.