Lady Stars push to 4-0; tops best start in school history
BLUFFTON— Using a great variety of floor space creating offense, the Lady Starfires have improved to 4-0 on the season for the first time in their school history with a road win over the Bluffton Lady Tigers Friday night 53-33.
"Our balance is definitely a problem we pose to teams this year," explained SA coach Brett Freeman, now in his second year at the helm of a program on the hottest start ever for the school.
"We actually have some balance and can hurt teams in different ways. It's nice to have some size mixed with some shooters and drivers to the basket."
With overtime wins against Eastbrook and Blackford as well as an impressive stomping of Union City the Lady Stars were 3-0 for the first time since the 1998-99 season. The win seemed to mean a little more for South Adams as the first ACAC contest of the season as well.
"I can never argue with a win but since it's a conference win and a potential sectional opponent that makes it even better," Freeman noted. "In all aspects of the wins the girls still understand that we have a lot of quality teams looming ahead."
Neither team looked sharp coming out of the gate combining misses with long possessions as both squads ran zone defenses to thwart driving the lane.
It was 4-2 with just forty seconds left in the first quarter when Dzejna Ahmetovic knocked down the first field goal of the game for SA after just four free throws to that point. A quick score on the other end by the Tigers led to Ahmetovic stroking a 14-foot jumper from the wing with just a few seconds left to give the Stars a slight lead at 8-6.
"Early on I thought we had some really good looks but we just struggled to get many to drop," analyzed Freeman. "Anytime you play a game on the day after Thanksgiving you worry a little bit about a 'turkey hangover.'"
The turkey spell wore off in the second quarter for South Adams but not before Lauren Stauffer's jumper made it 8-8 in the early going of the second. The Tigers would not score again in the first half.
South Adams would go on a 17-0 run kick-started by Sydney Willis nailing back-to-back triples for the 14-8 lead. The Tigers had an opportunity for points at the 1:53 mark in the form of their first two free throw attempts of the game but both were clanked off the mark.
Under a minute in the half, Alyssa Bluhm sank a driving lay-up, then Ahmetovic scored another hoop and Willis capped off the run the way she started it by draining another three-pointer from the wing with just one second left in the half to make it an impressive 25-8 halftime lead.