Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Redbirds prevail over Springfield in Season Opener

Anne Peters puts up a shot during Tuesday's game against Springfield. The senior finished with a team-high 14 points in a ten-point win. PHOTO / MIKE ROEDELL
Metamora, Ill. - The Metamora Lady Redbirds (1-0) (0-0) would once again start the season at home, and once again, it was against the Springfield Senators (0-1) (0-0).

As most may expect, things did not get off to a great start, for either side for that matter. Turnovers seemed to be an issue for Metamora in the first quarter, but they were still able to keep it close, with the visitors ahead 15-11 after eight minutes.

First game jitters? Anne Peters thinks so, adding that some other things contributed to what would soon turn out to be a slow start.

"Especially with it being our first game, we just couldn't get our offense set up. We just weren't running through it right. Whether that was just getting the ball in our hands. Especially me, I took some shots that I probably shouldn't have, and we should've probably kept on moving the ball."

5th-year head coach Brianna Morrow agrees that the opening quarter could've gotten off to a much better start.

"We talked about Springfield being physical and aggressive. Were we quite ready for that? I don't think so. Were we a little nervous and panicked? I think so. We didn't run offense. We didn't run our offense the entire first quarter. I don't know if people were even in the right spots."

The perception of the start was also reflective within the players, and Anne Peters says that they hit a rough patch early, while acknowledging some mistakes that she believes she made.

"Especially with it being our first game, we just couldn't get our offense set up. We just weren't running through it right. Whether that was just getting the ball in our hands. I took some shots that I probably shouldn't have, and we should've probably kept on moving the ball."

The second quarter, on the other hand, was the start of a turnaround. Anne Peters had her best quarter of the game, scoring seven of her game-high 14 points. Just a freshman, Katie Lalumandier got her first career varsity points. Kaylee Hieronymus and Alana Terry also reached the scoring column. The Redbirds were able to hold Springfield up defensively, only allowing free throws the entire second quarter. Metamora would out-score Springfield 13-5 and head into halftime with a 24-20 advantage.

Lalumandier has already garnered high praise from Coach Morrow, but does add that there's a no-doubt comparison between her and her older sister Kari, a Lady Redbird alum herself.

"We were fortunate enough to get to coach Kari for a couple years. Kari was a phenomenal kid. She was quick, she was aggressive, she was athletic, she was talented. They run the same, they kind of move the same, their voices sound the same. A kid (Katie) that works as hard, that's competitive. It's always a great thing when you have another Lalumandier on your team."

Out of the break, neither team was able to find a rhythm, as the Redbirds and Senators combined for 16 points. Five made shots, three for Metamora and two for Springfield. It would come down to the fourth and final quarter, with all that was separating the two teams being eight points.

The fouls came aplenty in the fourth, and thus, free throws. Metamora and Springfield would combine for 26 second half fouls. The Redbirds, quite simply, made more from the stripe, going 10-16 in the fourth quarter alone.

Coach Morrow thinks it's numerous things that played a part in keeping a fight up in this one.

"We were able to hit free throws, especially in the second half, which was huge for us. Rebounding-wise, we had to be tough on the boards. We had some kids that were just scrapping and clawing and really picked up the hustle and the intensity."

Fans may of noticed that the officials were blowing the whistle a lot. Right or wrong, that's not for this, but there were 43 total fouls between both teams. Morrow says it's not a distraction.

"We just say play it. You just play. You do the things that you need to do. Don't stress about the officials. They're human too, and they're going to make a mistake. You can not let that dictate the game."

Of note for Springfield, they made all but one of their five threes in the second half, but the Redbirds would take the win on opening night, 53-43.

Kaylee Hieronymus was a key contributor tonight, adding 12 points to the final score. Coach Morrow thinks that not only was she a big help tonight, but more than likely will be game after game.

"She had double digit points, she got big rebounds, she hit free throws, she dove on the floor, she got loose balls. She's a kid that has really kind of found her niche. She's a hustle kid. She just gives everything she has. I'm so proud of her. I thought she played a great game tonight."

It was both Hieronymus and Alana Terry that got the starting nods, something that both of them were unfamiliar with, but they were still able to impress the coach.

"I think those two kids embraced it like it was no big deal. This summer, those two kids stepped in, played a lot of minutes for us. I think this group meshes. They play well with each other."

They'll travel to Galesburg on Friday to play Danville Schlarman, reigning 1A Champs, at 7:30 pm.

Metamora Scoring: 
Anne Peters (14), Kaylee Hieronymus (12), Reagan Begole (10), Katie Lalumandier (6), Alana Terry (6), Alivia West (5)

Metamora Leaders:
2's | Anne Peters & Kaylee Hieronymus (4 each)
3's | Anne Peters & Reagan Begole (2 each)
FTs | Kaylee Hieronymus (4 for 8)

Metamora Team Stats:
12 2's, 4 3's, 17-25 FTs, 18 fouls

Next Game:
Friday, November 16th
7:30 pm (approx.)
@ Galesburg, vs. Danville Schlarman
Broadcast | Audio Only via Mixlr | LINK

Extra Anne Peters Quotes:
On defense
- "I think we just had to be settled and really find out where those shooters were that kept on knocking down shots towards the end. When I was guarding 33 (Fetter), I couldn't help on her, because we knew she would be wide open on that three point line. She would've knocked it down."

On Kaylee Hieronymus
- "She gets most of our hustle plays. However you see her out there on the court, that's how she is all the time. Whether it's basketball, volleyball, softball. She's amazing."

On Katie Lalumandier
- "She's always communicating. She's always picking her teammates up, and we're always trying to pick her up because she's picking us up. She's just an overall great teammate to have."

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