Defense propels Brady past Broncos 70-35
Brady’s girls smothered Wauneta-Palisade from one end of the court to the other Friday night, creating plenty of easy Eagle buckets for a 70-35 win in the home opener.
Eight girls combined for 23 steals for the Eagles, many of which came from full-court, in-your-face defense.
“I thought we ran the ball fairly well and pushed the tempo for some easy buckets,” said coach Lance Arterburn. “We played 11 deep without seeing a drop-off in talent and that really helped us keep the tempo up.”
The Eagles jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game.
Wauneta-Palisade closed the gap to three points as Brady led 16-13 with two minutes to play in the first quarter but when the Eagles turned up the heat on defense, they pushed the game open again.
Brady led 22-14 at the end of the first period and went to the break with a 39-22 advantage.
“The girls knew all along that they had it all under control,” Arterburn said. “We had a few too many fouls and a few turnovers but I expect that with the style of basketball we play.”
At the end of the third period, Brady led 52-28, leaving no doubt.
Arterburn said he was most pleased with the number of steals and assists.
Senior Megan Polt led both categories with seven steals and six assists. She also had 16 points, most of which came on short-range shots she created with her defense, Arterburn said.
Fellow senior Maggie Burke led the Eagles in scoring with 18 points.
“Maggie is just a quiet workhorse,” Arterburn said. “I think she’s probably one of the best 5-foot, 8-inch post players you’ll see in this state.”
Overall, the Eagles were 29-of-58 in field goal shots and 12-of-15 from the line.
“That’s not too bad for this early in the year,” Arterburn said. “We have a goal of scoring 15 points in each quarter and holding our opponents to eight or less. We came pretty close.”
The Eagles are now 1-0 on the season. They travel to Paxton (1-0) on Friday before hosting Cody-Kilgore (2-0) on Saturday.
“I think Paxton will run with us a little better than Wauneta-Palisade did,” Arterburn said. “They’re a scrappy team and they like to play physical.”
That’s OK with the Eagles, he said.
“We’ve got some tough girls,” the coach said. “We ask them to be aggressive and we’ll deal with the fouls that come because of it.”
Cody-Kilgore could pose a stiff test as the Cowboys defeated pre-season eighth-ranked Hay Springs 26-22.
“We struggled with them a little bit last year,” Arterburn said, “but we get to play them at home. That’s worth at least five or six points.”
Tipoff is scheduled for approximately 5 p.m. Saturday.