Lady Bulldogs win three straight

Posted 1/28/20

The North Zulch Lady Bulldogs basketball team picked up a pair of victories over Burton Jan. 24 and Iola Friday to improve to 3-2 on the district season. The team has now won three straight contests after opening district with road losses to top-ranked Snook and Somerville.

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Lady Bulldogs win three straight

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The North Zulch Lady Bulldogs basketball team picked up a pair of victories over Burton Jan. 24 and Iola Friday to improve to 3-2 on the district season. The team has now won three straight contests after opening district with road losses to top-ranked Snook and Somerville.

“We definitely had to win those two games at home,” said head coach Michael Stenseth. “We might steal one or two on the road down the stretch, but if we lost to either Iola or Normangee at home, we would have been in a tough spot.”

The team entered their second round of district play Tuesday in control of their own destiny. Last year, the Lady Bulldogs were 1-4 at this time.

“If we take care of business and win the games we think we can win, we will put ourselves in a position to contend for the second or third spot in district,” said Stenseth.

On Jan. 24, North Zulch picked up a 55-26 win in Burton for their first district road win. Defensively, the team allowed just seven points in the entire first half and kept Burton’s quarterly scoring totals in the single digits until the fourth.

Offensively, the Lady Bulldogs enjoyed a consistent performance in the 29-point win. Lakin Madden led the team in scoring with 13 points and was followed by Samantha Moore with 10, Katelyn Crocker with nine and Madison Murphy with eight.

The team scored 12-15 points in each of the four quarters and found the majority of their points the old-fashioned way, recording just one three-point field goal in the win (Madden).

The defense remained a focal point for the Lady Bulldogs heading into Friday’s 49-41 victory over Iola at NZHS.

“Friday, we had a specific defensive game plan,” said Stenseth. “Other than maybe five possessions, I felt like we followed that plan to perfection. That is what took Iola out of what they wanted to do. From that standpoint, we were definitely paying attention to detail.”

Neither team managed to find a rhythm on the offensive side in the opening quarter. After the first eight minutes, each team had recorded just one field goal and the Lady Bulldogs led 3-2.

North Zulch established a lead down the stretch and were able to hold off Iola as they made a 19-point push in the fourth quarter of play. Iola was able to get within one possession on multiple occasions, but the Lady Bulldogs maintained the lead and won by eight.

The team hosted Somerville at NZHS Tuesday and will also host Snook Friday in a rematch of their two district losses. Both opponents currently sit atop the district.

“Once you have already played them, and you have a good feel for what they really do, you can try and take some of those things away,” said Stenseth on his team’s size disadvantages. “I feel like we cannot necessarily speed up the tempo, but make it harder for them to get into their offensive set.”

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