Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Pesky defense gets the Cutthroat girls running

Community School doubles up Warriors 63-27

Cutthroat sophomore Amaya Ingram scores two of her game-high 16 points in Thursday's 63-27 home season-opening win over Twin Falls Christian Academy. Warriors guard Kristin Miller follows Ingram. Photo by David N. Seelig

Community School girls' basketball coach Ryan Waterfield enjoys a fast-paced style that is set into motion by strong defense—and that's what her 2005-06 Cutthroats gave Waterfield Thursday in Sun Valley.

Running and ball-hawking, the Cutthroats stole the ball eight times in the first quarter and outscored the visiting Twin Falls Christian Academy Warriors 22-5 in the first eight minutes en route to a season-opening 63-27 non-conference home victory.

"I'm glad to have a team that runs and likes to run, because I like that style," said Waterfield. "I said to the girls that I wanted defense to set the tempo of the game and it did. Our offense plays better when we play better defense."

Sophomores Caroline Fairchild (12 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals) and Amaya Ingram (16 points, 6 boards, 5 steals, 2 assists) led the way with 10 points apiece in the first half when the Cutthroats raced to a 38-13 lead.

"Caroline had a great game inside," said Waterfield. "We also blocked out real well in the first half and our defense played really well. And some of our fast breaks were beautiful."

You don't score 63 points with two players alone, though, and the Cutthroats (1-0) displayed a well-balanced attack featuring eight different scorers against the Warriors (0-2). Twin Falls Christian did lose an important rebounder, 5-9 junior Mindy Brown, to an ankle injury.

Other Cutthroat contributors were Cody Curran (7 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 5 assists); Jessie Curran (8 points, 3 boards, 3 steals); Hannah Hennessy (6 points, 3 rebounds); Corinna Pidgeon (2 points, 2 boards, 3 steals, 3 assists); Emily Eshman (4 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 4 assists); and Chloe Lynn (8 points, 6 boards, 2 assists).

With a 25-point lead and at Waterfield's suggestion the Cutthroats slowed down the pace in the second half and continued to work on moving the ball efficiently and with purpose. The coach said, "We tried to work harder for a better shot."

The Cutthroats out-rebounded Twin Falls Christian 37-23 and had 18 steals and 17 assists. Waterfield was encouraged with the effort.

She said, "This is the most fun team I've had to coach in 10 years. We've got athletes and they're a bunch of competitors—hungry and focused. But we'll have our work cut out for us in our league. We're so young compared to the other teams, and it's such a tough league."

After Thanksgiving break the Cutthroats open Northside Conference action Tuesday, Nov. 29 with road games at league contender Carey (2-0). Then the varsity will play Richfield, Shoshone and Carey again before Christmas vacation.

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