Bench play brings boost
Swede girls get past Sailors 47-37.
Four Gothenburg players came off the bench and combined for 12 points to help power the Swedes past the Sutherland Sailors 47-37 Saturday night.
“We’ve got young girls taking on some new roles,” said Swede coach Tim Peterson. “Those kids coming off the bench did a good job.”
It was senior Emily Max, though, who started strong and remained strong throughout the game.
Max opened the scoring with a pair of short jumpers inside the lane. Twenty of her game-high 22 points came from under the basket.Propelled by Max, the Swedes got out to a 12-8 lead after the first quarter and pushed ahead 23-16 at halftime.
“The girls knew there was never any doubt we were going to win the game,” Peterson said. “I would have liked to have seen a little more killer instinct early in the game to put them away.”
Gothenburg extended the lead as many as 12 in the third period but the Sailors kept chipping away, getting within six points heading into the final stanza.
Max hit four consecutive field goals to open the fourth quarter and give the Swedes another boost.
Five of nine free throws in the final three minutes gave Gothenburg all that was necessary to win.
“I hoped we would play better,” Peterson said. “We played good enough to win but it still wasn’t a great game.”
The coach said he believes the girls continue to lack confidence, even against a winless team such as Sutherland.
“I’m convinced we are a better team than the girls think we are,” he said. “They’re the ones who have to believe it.”
Peterson said he was pleased with the contributions coming from younger players, especially freshmen Brittyn Munster and Taylor Wolf.
“They just add a spark to the floor,” he said, “and the way they play forces the other girls to step up.”