Lady Bulldogs split district bouts

Posted 2/11/20

The North Zulch Lady Bulldogs basketball team split a pair of contests over the week with a 63-55 loss at Normangee Feb. 4 and a 86-26 rout of Burton on Senior Night Friday. They entered Tuesday’s district finale against Iola in a third-place tie with Normangee.

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Lady Bulldogs split district bouts

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The North Zulch Lady Bulldogs basketball team split a pair of contests over the week with a 63-55 loss at Normangee Feb. 4 and a 86-26 rout of Burton on Senior Night Friday. They entered Tuesday’s district finale against Iola in a third-place tie with Normangee.

Before Friday’s matchup against Burton at NZHS, seniors Katie Douga and Samantha Moore were honored on the court in their final home matchup of their careers.

“I am the only coach they have ever had for more than one season, so that was kind of a difficult thing for them,” said head coach Michael Stenseth. “They bought into what I was talking about and have been dialed in as good as they can be. They give great effort and want to be successful.”

Douga posted 20 points in the team’s blowout win over Burton Friday while Moore added 10 points of her own. Lakin Madden led the team in scoring with 24 points, including five successful three-pointers.

“We had some good shooting, especially by (Madden) in the second quarter,” said Stenseth. “We kind of set the game plan up for that game to be defended exactly how we will defend Iola (on Tuesday). We turned them over a large number of times.”

The Lady Bulldogs worked on honing their full-court press game in the first three quarters and base defense in the third. They never surrendered more than nine points in a single quarter and allowed just 11 total points in the second half.

Katelyn Crocker also added 12 points to the North Zulch total in the 60-point victory over Burton.

On Feb. 4, the Lady Bulldogs dropped a critical road matchup to Normangee, opening up a possibility for a potential tie for third place in district. If the Lady Bulldogs defeat Iola Tuesday, they will likely battle Normangee for a third time to determine who enters the postseason as a three-seed and who enters as a four.

Normangee’s Jada Green dominated early on and would ultimately finish with 32 points in the Lady Panther win.

“We just did not do a very good job or make the in-game adjustments I wanted to make to slow (Green) down,” said Stenseth. “We allowed them to run their offense and do what they wanted to do in the first half. They were not able to run or execute their offense in the second half.”

The Lady Bulldogs cut the deficit to six points in the final few minutes but would get no closer. They came up empty on their final seven possessions and lost the game by eight points.

Crocker led the way for North Zulch in scoring against the Lady Bulldogs with 19 points and was followed by Moore with 16. Maddison Murphy contributed 10 to the total in the loss and was followed by Madden with eight.

The Lady Bulldogs scored 24 points in the third quarter after posting a total of just 17 in the entire first half.

The team’s third-place play-in matchup against Normangee, if necessary, would take place Friday. The third-place team would take on Hearne in the Bi-District round of the postseason while the fourth-place team battles Thorndale.

“Normally, you do not want to be the four because it would mean you play the other district’s one seed,” said Stenseth. “But (Thorndale) is not as strong as they usually are and Hearne is a much better second place team than they have been in the past.”

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