Wolves pull an inside job
VALPARAISO — Possession is nine-tenths of the law, so the saying goes.
It certainly applies on the basketball court to Michigan City, whose big front line stands a strong chance of scoring if the Wolves can get the ball in the paint.
“There’s no question that’s our game,” City coach Mike Megyese said after Hannah Noveroske and Janicia Anderson dominated the lane in a 75-60 manhandling of Valparaiso on Friday.
Noveroske was unstoppable, converting 15 of 18 shots at the rim, while Anderson owned the boards, hauling down a dozen to go with 15 points.
“That’s what makes us tough,” Noveroske said. “(Valpo doesn’t) really have much height. We have to get it down low, get it in the trenches and finish our layups. As long as the guards can get the ball up the floor against the press, we should be all right.”
Turnovers numbered 26 but the biggest chunk of them came in the fourth quarter, when the Wolves (13-4, 5-1 Duneland Conference) got ragged and Valpo got hot from the outside to cut a 22-point margin in half.
“We played pretty good the first half, the third quarter for the most part, then we just started playing sloppy,” Megyese said. “The scouting report was they can shoot the 3 and they did shoot the 3. I told kids to get out there and we didn’t adjust very well. We paid for that, but the game was never in question. We weren’t going to lose the game. It wasn’t about winning or losing, it was about finishing strong. We’ve got to do a better job of communicating. We can’t keep giving up shot after shot. We weren’t listening very well. We’ll fix that.”
The theme for the game was set in the first two minutes when Thompson and Noveroske each scored on putbacks. Those were the first of six rebound hoops the Wolves registered in the first half as City muscled its way to a 38-21 lead.
“It’s just my thing,” Anderson said of her rebounding. “I feel the best thing I started off with from my freshman year to now is rebounding. That’s basically my goal. I don’t look to shoot all the time. If I get the ball, I’ll put it up. If somebody misses, I’ll come up to get the ball. Usually, I can get it if it’s coming my way or I can go get it. As long as we don’t rush and stay patient and get it in the post, we’re pretty good.”
The margin peaked at 24 in the third quarter before Valpo (8-12, 2-4) went to all-out pressure and play got loose.
“There are some stretches that have to be snapped,” Noveroske said. “We had some ups and downs we should have handled quicker, including me. I turned the ball over too many times. We got over it. At the beginning of the season, there were more of those ups and downs. They’re starting to get smaller. Hopefully, we’ll get over that, just stay who we are and don’t worry about the negatives.”
In addition to Noveroske and Anderson, Trinity Thompson filled the stat sheet with eight rebounds, five steals and four assists, while Joani Ashley had five steals and four assists and Katelyn Halfacre contributed nine points and four assists. City shot 17 of 23 in the second half, many of them layups out of press breaks, and 34 of 54 in all.
“Janicia was probably our best all-around player. She was really getting after it,” Megyese said. “We expect to score when we get the ball inside to big Hannah. I thought Joani had a nice game as well. We have other people who can score as well and we did.”
Hannah Noveroske scored 31 points for the Wolves.