Whippets run over Jefferson girls in 2nd half
WHITEWATER — The Whitewater girls basketball team was able to use dribble penetration throughout the second half to create offense as it pulled away from Jefferson, 54-41, in a home Rock Valley Conference game on Thursday night.
The Whippets, who led by just one point at half, scored 37 second-half points as sophomore guard Kacie Carollo finished with a game-high 19 points, 15 of which came in the second half.
“Driving was one,” Whitewater head coach Kristen Lippens said of her team’s halftime adjustments.
“Also, looking to drive it and pitch it out because we didn’t have a lot of outside shooting going on, and we have good shooters, and we weren’t really getting openings. But the driving, it opened up, and that was great.”
The Whippets outscored Jefferson, 20-10 in the first 10 minutes, 30 seconds of the second half.
The lead continued to grow throughout the second half as Jefferson made just nine of 20 free throws over the final 18 minutes and just 13 of 28 overall.
Whitewater knocked down 24 of 29 attempts in the game.
“If you make your free throws, you at least have that much closer of a chance to at least make it a game,” Jefferson head coach Evan Hibbs said. “We did turn them over a couple times, but if you’re not making free throws at the other end, it’s a heck of a lot harder to get them out of their groove and their rhythm.”
The Eagles went to an aggressive zone with Josie Peterson at the top using her length to disrupt the passing lanes.
It worked, as the Whippets scored just two points over a three-minute stretch. However, Jefferson missed eight free throws during that time.
Lippens called a timeout with 4:04 left in the game to calm her team down and slow down the thinking as the guards were getting trapped.
“It was just about being patient again because sometimes they rush, so teaching them that it’s OK,” Lippens said.
“As soon as the trap initiates, we can get the pass back so that they can make sure they can get that pass without getting turned over or stolen.”
Olivia Ganser finished with 16 points to lead Jefferson (6-7, 4-6 RVC). The Whippets used a variety of combinations to attempt to slow her down, but the most effective way was Abby Grosinske, the team’s top defender, standing up to the challenge.
’She does defend well, she’s aggressive and she moves her feet well,” Lippens said. “She knows how to get in position. Also, she knows where they are looking to feed her the ball, so she’s always trying to find the spot to deny.”
Turnovers and missed shots allowed Whitewater (7-6, 6-4) to get out in transition, which sped up the game.
That did not play in favor of Jefferson.
“I thought actually first half, we played really well. I think that was more of the game we were hoping to have, and in the second half, it got away from us,” Hibbs said.
“So the second half, it was their rhythm, their tempo.”
Grosinske finished with 13 points, while Jocelin Beecroft added 10 for the Whippets.
Josie Peterson was the only other Eagles player to reach double digits as she scored 10 points.
Jefferson will host Evansville on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m., while Whitewater travels to Beloit Turner on Tuesday at the same time.
Jefferson 16 25 — 41
Whitewater 17 37 — 54
Jefferson (fg-ft-tp) — Ganser 6-4-16, Howard 1-5-7, Gallardo 1-0-2, Peterson 0-1-1, Neitzel 1-0-2, J. Peterson 4-2-10, Beck 1-0-2, Messman 0-1-1. Totals 14-13-41.
Whitewater (fg-ft-tp) — Beecroft 4-1-10, Grosinske 3-6-13, Carollo 5-9-19, Sellnow 0-1-1, Henneman 0-2-2, Laue 2-5-9. Totals 14-24-54.
Three-point goals — W, Beecroft, Grosinske.
Total fouls — J 20, W 21.