Young Mids give Quak­ers all they can han­dle

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - FRONT PAGE -

With six sec­onds to go, Kolbi Green fired yet an­other 3-pointer. It was too late, true. The cav­ern be­tween Penn and Navy was just too wide with nine sec­onds re­main­ing.

But she’d hurled some last-minute fire­power at a team likely bound for the NCAA tour­na­ment, and that was some­thing for the Mids to hold on to.

“To­day, we showed up. We fought back,” said sopho­more So­phie Gat­zounas. “We brought en­ergy we hadn’t brought be­fore.”

The youth-heavy Mids (1-3) hounded Penn from first quar­ter to last, but fell 65-61 in the first game of the Navy Clas­sic at Alumni Hall. After a de­fi­ant first-game vic­tory, Navy has lost three-straight — but learned some­thing from each de­feat.

“I think to­day we fi­nally cre­ated an iden­tity for our­selves,” Gat­zounas said. “We’ve got­ten, I’d say, con­sis­tently bet­ter from our losses. Marist was a tough team to start the sea­son and Nor­folk State is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent type team … Com­ing in to­day, know­ing that Penn is a po­ten­tial NCAA-kind of team, we knew we had to bring it.”

The spot­light shed upon the younger Navy tal­ent. Green, a fresh­man guard, led the Mids’ of­fen­sive ef­fort with 17 points — 15 of which were from be­yond the arc — fol­lowed by Gat­zounas, who had 16. Ju­nior Morgan Tay­lor racked up boards for the Mids, to­tal­ing 10 along with her 13-point con­tri­bu­tion.

Still, to head coach Ste­fanie Pem­per, it’s clear that in­ex­pe­ri­ence was as much a fac­tor as any­thing else on Satur­day.

“With some de­ci­sion mak­ing but also abil­ity to han­dle set­backs. … Bounc­ing back from giv­ing up an O-board, get­ting beat on [de­fense], a frus­trat­ing foul call or miss­ing a shot,” the coach said. “Yes. In­ex­pe­ri­ence every­where.”

Fresh­man Jennifer Cole­man, who had amassed a team-lead­ing 43 points go­ing into Satur­day, was sub­dued. The Rich­mond, Vir­ginia, na­tive went 0-for-8 from the field.

“I don’t think she’ll do it again,” Pem­per said. “She wants to be re­ally good. She wants us to be good. She’ll re­spond well.”

The Mids were un­able to put some­thing in the bucket un­til two min­utes were burned and five Quaker points were on the board. Tay­lor scored the first, a free throw.

“With Penn, you have to be a lit­tle bit care­ful about your en­ergy be­cause they go back-door re­ally well. They slip screens re­ally well,” Pem­per said.

The Mids close the Navy Clas­sic with North Carolina A&T to­day at 1 p.m.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.