Brock Netter, Staff Writer
FRANKFORT — Coaches always preach about having the intangibles, but sometimes the simple tangibles is all it takes to a win.
Adena (1-0) created chaos defensively on Monday, won the rebounding margin and kept its balance scoring the ball as four players reached double figures in a season-opening 74-31 victory over Clay (0-2).
“We came out ready and played incredibly hard, and the girls were really excited about playing the season opener,” Adena coach Andrew Day said. “Although it was very weird having no fans in the gym at all, I like how the girls remained focused on the task at hand. We did some really good things, and it was a nice way to start the season.”
From the opening tip, Adena played with active hands and used its length to block passing lanes. Whether it was using tipped passes, a full court press, or just man-to-man defense, the ball continuously ended up in the Warriors’ hands as they caused 29 turnovers.
“Defense is a huge part of our game, and with no fans or anything, we have to bring our own energy,” Adena’s Sydney Foglesong said. “We moved our feet pretty well and applied pressure without fouling. That’s the biggest thing for us. We didn’t get in over our heads, and just stayed the course.”
The rebounding advantage alone was enough to win the game as the Warriors continuously corralled one offensive board after another. They won the rebounding total by a 43-16 margin.
Foglesong and Cheyenne Ater led that battle on the board by grabbing 12 rebounds a piece.
“We believe that Syd and Cheyenne are at the top of the elite rebounders in the SVC, and we’re going to use that to our advantage every chance we get,” Day said. “As long as they continue to give us the type of effort they did tonight moving forward, that’ll create a lot of second and maybe even third opportunities if necessary. Although, we need to convert those second chance points much better moving forward.”
Adena never trailed, maintaining an eight-point lead throughout much of the first quarter. However, in the final minutes of the opening frame, it came up with a pair of turnovers and converted on the other end, pushing the lead to double digits at 22-10.
Despite forcing 11 first quarter turnovers, the Warriors weren’t finished as they forced nine more in the second and held Clay to just four points for a 42-14 lead at halftime.
When the smoke had finally cleared, the Warriors’ quartet of Jaydn Smith, Emma Garrison, Emma Curry and Makaela Lovely all hit double-digit scoring figures, led by a career-high 15 points from Lovely.
“With it being the season opener, we didn’t exactly know what our team chemistry was going to be like, but we did a great job,” Lovely said. “We’ve talked a lot in practice about good shots compared to great shots and knowing the difference. We most definitely took great shots tonight and didn’t settle.”
Smith, Garrison and Curry each finished with 12 points, while Sydney and Cheyenne Ater added six points each.
For Clay, Kat Cochran had seven points followed by six points from McKenzie Loper.
Adena returns to action on Wednesday at Hillsboro, while Clay hosts Notre Dame on Monday to open SOC I action.