TRC attempts to stay perfect on the season as they enter enemy territory at Bill Crothers against a feisty Colts squad
Defending home court it was the Colts of Bill Crothers who jumped out to an early lead taking an 11-7 advantage by getting into the paint and drawing fouls against TRC early on. Crothers got the best of the undefeated TRC using a zone defence and 5-7 (2020) guard Ciante Downs dominated on both ends to lead her team to a 13-8 lead.
TRC gave themselves plenty of second chances at the start of the second frame but an up-and-down first few minutes was marked by defence with blocks on both ends including a decisive swat by TRC's Xianna Josephs. Ahriahna Grizzle and Callie Wright helped their Colts push the lead and Bill Crothers had doubled up TRC 18-9 midway through the second. Though TRC gave a solid push, a three by 5-11 guard Keanna Samuels reestablished a double-digit lead for Bill Crothers who entered the break up 23-15.
TRC's Mya Iriah (5-9, 2019) tried to spark her Wolfpack to open the second half with aggressive cuts to the basket but it was all Downs and Grizzle for Bill Crothers taking turns keeping the Colts definitively in the lead. Iriah was forced to leave the game close to the end of the third with an injury. TRC struggled to get anything going on the offensive end and scored just 30 points through three despite some fight by Makayla Ennis (6-1, 2019) in the final minutes to earn some momentum for TRC.
"I think as a team we have to work harder on defence," said Ennis. "We had a lot of standing around, not a lot of defensive intensity. I have to lead by example now."
The Wolfpack continued to chip away and brought it to a one-possession game early in the final frame. Point guard Tiya Misir (5-5, 2018) scored consecutive buckets to distance Bill Crothers again with a seven point lead just when it seemed TRC was within striking distance. Misir kept the Colts ahead with nine points in the the fourth including a crucial bucket to put Crothers up by nine points with three minutes remaining. Bill Crothers kept the pressure defence on to seal the home victory and send TRC to their first loss on the OSBA season 55-42.
"My teammates really get me going," Grizzle said in a post-game interview. "We have a really great bench and them being there in help defence motivates me to make the next play, go for the next steal, and make sure I'm there for them because they're there for me."
Bill Crothers S.S.
Ahriahna Grizzle (5-8 G, 2019) - 14 pts
Tiya Misir (5-5 G, 2019) - 13 pts
Callie Wright (6-0 F, 2020) - 11 pts
Makayla Ennis (6-1 W, 2019) - 12 pts
Aerial Wilson (5-9 G, 2019) - 9 pts