Waterford Lady Wildcats Crush Trimble Playoff Hopes

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The one seeded Waterford Lady Wildcats got their start in the tournament coming off a first-round bye Thursday night when they took on the Trimble Lady Tomcats (#8). The team swept the season series against Trimble earlier this year, outscoring them by a margin of 114-33. When all was said and done, it was Waterford taking this one, 51-24.

All season long, The Lady Wildcats have done a phenomenal job coming out of the gate strong which they would do once again tonight. The offense had no problem getting buckets, scoring 17 in the first eight minutes. However, what got the job done for Waterford was their fast-paced, physical defense. Coach Close issued a full court press right from the start, forcing he Lady Tomcats to make sloppy plays and as a result creating turnovers. By the end of the first half, Trimble would give up 13 turnovers leading to easy fast-break points for Waterford.

The Lady Wildcats had a huge presence in the rebounding game, specifically on offense which allowed for easy second chance points. At the end of two, the team had rack 15 offensive rebounds, more than Trimble’s total points that half (11). Alli Kern led the team in rebounds, totaling 10 at the final whistle.

Speaking of Kern, the junior had herself one of the best performances of the seasons. She was on the court for nearly the entire game and wouldn’t be subbed out for the first time until late in the third quarter. Kern earned herself a double-double just two minutes into the third quarter, and was two steals away from sealing a triple-double.

Megan Ball also played a large role in tonight’s victory. She finished the night with six rebound, five of them being offensive. Nearly every one of the boards led directly to put back baskets, helping her tally her total points to 12. The junior also tacked on two blocks, and played a huge role in shutting down the paint against Trimble, forcing them to take jump shots outside.

It wasn’t just Ball and Kern who made an impact tonight though. Rachael Adams has been performing extremely well off the bench in the past few weeks, and that was no different tonight. She helped out by scoring a total of six points, four rebounds and three steals, making her effective on both sides of the ball. Other notable performances for the team on Thursday night came from Hannah Duff who went 3-of-5 from the field adding seven points to the total, and Emily Kern who finished with three points, three boards and two steals.

Coach Close told us earlier this month that the would be focusing on tidying up their play and work on giving up easy turnovers, and clearly he was able to get that point across to his team. The Lady Wildcats forced 25 turnovers out of Trimble, while also limiting themselves to only five.

The Lady Wildcats have been great all year, but tonight has proven that the team has gotten even better after every game. Waterford will be looking to earn a spot in the district finals when they take on four seeded Fairfield Union on Feb. 25.