MONSTER RUN SENDS TIGERS TO BIG WIN
Ink Free News / Sports on Sunday, December 20, 2020
By Mike Deak
WARSAW – Warsaw had done it before, and apparently wanted to do it again.
In yet another huge first-half run, Warsaw pounded another girls basketball opponent, this time rival Wawasee in a 67-16 showcase Saturday night at the Tiger Den.
In similar demolitions as it had done to South Bend Adams, NorthWood and Tippecanoe Valley earlier this season, long, sustained runs gave Warsaw a decided edge. Saturday night, the Tigers led just 11-7 after Wawasee’s Danielle Jenkins buried a three from the corner. That would be the closest the game would be the rest of the night.
Within seconds, Lauren Grose converted a hoop and the harm on the other end, which began what would be a 34-2 Tiger run that stretched into the third quarter.
In the midst of the run, Kensie Ryman hit three treys, Kacilyn Krebs hit a pair of triples, and Warsaw strung together runs of 16-0 and 18-0 sandwiching just one Wawasee field goal.
“Right now, our emphasis is just on using your strengths within the context of what we do offensively,” said Warsaw head coach Lenny Krebs. “Defensively, it’s just being in the proper position, pressuring people and not allowing easy baskets. I think that’s what you’ve seen the last couple weeks.”
Krebs also noted the all-around effort of Audrey Grimm, who finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Kendall Wayne, who had eight points and two steals, but did a number on the perimeter to keep Wawasee’s offense out of order.
“Audrey probably doesn’t get enough credit for what she does on both ends of the floor,” Krebs said. “I swear there are times when she grows an extra two or three inches on her fingers when she reaches for a ball.
“She’s just a phenomenal athlete. She does a lot of those little things that people sitting up in the stands might not notice. But as a coach, they are extremely valuable.”
Ryman led the Tigers with 13 points, Krebs had 12 points, four assists and three steals, and Abby Sanner added nine points, seven boards and five blocks.
Wawasee head coach Matt Carpenter, a former assistant for Krebs when the two coached at Goshen, split his thoughts on the negative with moments of positivity. The four-point game late in the first quarter was discussed with his roster in the postgame, as was the 34-2 run.
“After the slow start, where they started 9-2, we battled back and competed,” Carpenter said. “We competed together. Doesn’t mean we didn’t have deficiencies. We had some breakdowns. We turned the ball over a couple times, we didn’t get back on defense. But we still competed. When things started to crumble, we didn’t communicate like we did at the start, and the little things really started to pile up on us.”
Danielle Jenkins led Wawasee with eight points, but also had eight turnovers, part of a 27 turnover night.
Wawasee (2-3, 0-1 NLC) played in just its first game since Dec. 3 against Elkhart Christian. The Warriors look to get back on track Tuesday at home against Concord in a Northern Lakes Conference redo from late November.
“We can use the excuse that we just got out of quarantine and Warsaw has played 10 games, but everybody is in a unique situation and that’s not an excuse for being flat and not adjusting,” Carpenter said. “Monday we just need to be consistent in practice. Compete for a full practice and carry that over. We’ve looked really good at times this year, and we’ve looked really bad. When it’s good, all five on the court are communicating and moving their feet, the bench is into it. For Concord, we’re going to have to get that mindset back.”
Warsaw (9-2, 2-0 NLC) will put its five-game win streak on the line Tuesday when it visits Norwell. During the win streak, Warsaw has won its games by an average margin of 29.4 points.