Hawks turn to man-to-man defense to provide boost
Flipping pressure switch
DIXON – For much of the game, Oregon employed a 3-2 zone defense. When the Hawks switched to man-to-man, their dimming hopes suddenly brightened.
Trailing by five more than midway through the third quarter, Oregon used a 12-2 tear to take control en route to a 52-47 win over United Township in a quarterfinal at the Dixon tournament Friday night at Lancaster Gym.
"We knew that they were tired, so running man on them would make them even more tired," said the Hawks' Emylyn Wright, who scored a game-high 17 points. "We didn't stop. We just kept fighting."
Trailing 33-28 with just more than 4 minutes left in the third quarter, Wright ignited Oregon (12-3) with a 3-pointer from the left wing. After a UT bucket, the Hawks reeled off 10 straight points.
First, Bree Tourtillott, who scored six of her 10 points in the third quarter, hit a jumper from the free-throw line. McKaylee Beeter (10 points) knocked down the go-ahead 3, making it 36-35 with 53 seconds left in the period.
Tourtillott added a hoop off a feed from Samantha Lambrigtsen (12 points) with 10 seconds left in the quarter to make it 38-35 going to the fourth quarter. Wright capped the burst with a fast-break bucket 18 seconds into the final frame.
Oregon led by at least three the rest of the way.
"Going to man was a big help," Lambrigtsen said. "They were getting wide-open shots. Switching to man stopped them. We needed to go to man to put more pressure on them."
"When we went man-to-man, that got us a lot more active," Hawks coach Kristy Eckhardt said. "It really picked up our intensity. We got some steals and pushed the ball more, like we're used to."
The score was 15-all after one quarter. United Township (8-7) led 25-20 late in the first half and 25-21 at the break.
Sadie Roberts led the Panthers, scoring all 14 of her points in the second half. Taylor Dobinske added 12.
Star of the game: Emylyn Wright, Oregon, game-high 17 points
Key performers: Sadie Roberts, UT, team-high 14 points, all in 2nd half; Samantha Lambrigtsen, Oregon, 12 points
Up next: Dixon tournament semifinal, Oregon vs. Boylan, 1:30 p.m. Saturday