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Linsly Gets Past River

Grimm goes for 10 points, 12 rebounds

Photo by Josh Strope Linsly’s Carleigh Grimm (21) looks to go up for a shot against the defense of River’s Alli Long during Thursday’s game at Stifel Fieldhouse.

WHEELING — Defense was the name of the game Thursday night as Linsly and visiting River both did decent jobs of limiting their opponents from scoring while forcing turnovers.

When all was said and done the Cadets and Pilots combined for 19 total field goals and 29 turnovers in a game that each team won a pair of quarters but Linsly took home a victory.

Carleigh Grimm had game highs of 10 points and 12 rebounds, and the Cadets (6-4) raced to a 12-0 first quarter lead and never looked back in defeating the Pilots by a 33-18 margin at Stifel Fieldhouse.

“Coach (Rick) Isaly has been doing this a long time and they play you tough and make you do unorthodox things,” Linsly coach Rebecca Upton said. “They mess with the tempo and get you out of your rhythm and they do a good job of it.”

Through the first three minutes of action, the game belonged to Grimm and the Cadets as she scored the game’s initial six points while pulling down three rebounds in the opening 4:43. Nevaeh Cook and Molly Heron then turned to the outside with each hitting 3-pointers to close the quarter and the hosts had a 12-0 lead after one.

With Isaly and the Pilots (4-9) changing defenses in the second quarter Linsly found it a little tougher to score as the visitors scored the first six of the chapter to trim the lead in half before Haley Heitz bombed in a 3 at 3:54 for the final points of the half and a 15-6 edge at the break.

Sitting at 18-8 early in the third, the Cadets closed the quarter on a 9-0 run to push the count to 27-8 with eight minutes to play.

River’s defense again stepped up strong in the fourth, forcing eight Linsly turnovers and holding the Cadets without a point for the initial 5:32 while trimming the deficit to 27-14.

In all, Linsly outscored River by a 24-2 margin in the first and third quarters combined while committing two turnovers. However, in the second and fourth quarters it was the Pilots owning a 16-9 margin in points and forcing 12 turnovers during that time.

“Playing defense has been kind of a big thing for us and our goal is to not allow anything easy and keep everything in front of you,” Upton said. “We want to make teams work for everything and not give up the easy ones.

“But we are still a young team and they hurt us changing defenses. We are still learning, and it sometimes takes us a hot second to get in order when teams change things up.

“Even though we are still in a learning process I couldn’t be happier with this team right now.”

Heitz added eight points in the victory while Heron chipped in six. Linsly grabbed a 26-20 edge off the glass and committed one fewer turnover than River, 15-14. Alli Long paced the Pilots with eight points while Rilyn Haught scored six.

“This team is just so young and inexperienced,” Isaly said. “We have no true ballhandlers and we have to grow up. You obviously can’t fall behind 12-0 in the first quarter and have to fight all the way back not having the same kind of firepower we are used to.

“I praise my defense for its play, and we really did a good job in that 2-3 zone, but we have to find some scorers and we have to be able to run an offense. We just need to get better when we have the basketball.

“The hope was to continue to get better each and every game, but at this point right now we are kind of at a standstill. We have to be able to put more than one good quarter together. Playing a good quarter with two bad and an OK one just doesn’t work.

“It’s a two-year plan right now and we knew coming in the road would be tough with our schedule, we just hope to continue to see improvement.”

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