Pacific took the lead for good late in the second quarter and never gave it up in a girls basketball victory Thursday over Northwest.
The Lady Indians (6-5) returned to action with a 56-48 win at Pacific High School.
It was a matchup of the top two seeds from last month’s Seckman Tournament, won by Lindbergh. Pacific was seeded first and Northwest was second.
“We got to practice (Wednesday) for an hour-and-a-half, but didn’t practice for four days before that. I was concerned because Northwest played Saturday and I know they practiced (Wednesday) too,” said Pacific Head Coach Josh Spuhl. “Considering the way we normally play on snow days, I’m really happy with how we played. We played pretty well collectively.”
It took a while for Pacific to get things going. Northwest held a 14-9 advantage after one quarter.
But with the help of their pressure defense, the Lady Indians increased the tempo, which gave them opportunities on the offensive end.
Pacific switched its defensive looks against Northwest throughout the contest.
“I never play zone. This is the fifth year I’ve been head coach and we never play zone. But we’re starting to play zone now just because that’s what we need to do to be competitive,” Spuhl said. “We still got in foul trouble with (Kate) Cookson. I feel like we’re making the transition. It’s something we’ll be able to use in conference play. I’m glad with how it’s going so far.”
Kya Hill led three Pacific players in double figures, finishing with 22 points, 15 in the first half.
“Kya missed some shots, but eventually stepped up and took advantage of her opportunities,” Spuhl said.
Ashley Hill added 16 points. Meagan Wakefield collected 14 points.
“When those three do their thing, we should be just fine,” Spuhl said of his top three scorers in the game. “It would have been nice if one or two other girls chipped in with a few more points.”
Charla Jackson finished with two points. Ellen Rogers and Kate Cookson both scored one point.
Also playing were Brigid Toney, Amber Zurliene, Katy Brown and Hunter Kelemen.
“We’ve been working on pushing the ball up the floor,” Spuhl said. “Ashley and Meagan do a really good job finding each other for easy layups. When you make them, it’s even better.”
Northwest (8-4) was led by Taylor Fortner, who scored 12 points while in foul trouble.
Rachael Bonacker, Sierra McClure and Lindsey Shinkle each added nine points.
Pacific held leads of 26-21 at halftime and 42-34 after three quarters. The Lady Indians’ biggest lead was 10 points, 44-34, with 7:30 left in the game.
“Northwest has improved. We got ahead and they didn’t go anywhere,” Spuhl said. “They definitely had the size advantage on us. We switched up defenses and it looked OK at times. We just have to work on it more.”
Both teams struggled from the free-throw line. Pacific was 11-28 while Northwest was 8-19.
The Lady Indians’ junior varsity team improved to 7-1 with a 37-30 win over Northwest.
Pacific returns to action Thursday at home against Cuba at 5:30 p.m.
“We don’t have any easy games for the rest of the year. Everyone we play is competitive. Everyone we play is good. I don’t know if we play anyone with a losing record from here on out. We’re going to have to step up big time,” Spuhl said. “We’ve been working a lot to bring these girls together as a team. We’ve had our ups and downs, but I feel like we’re moving in the right direction.”