BY JIMMY HARRIS firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — DANVILLE — Reigning Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year Michaela Jones set the tone with her ferocious defensive play for the young Danville Lady Vikings in their 41-26 win over the Urbana Lady Tigers on Thursday.
The Lady Vikings defense shut down the Lady Tigers in the first half — applying a lot of pressure to cause 18 first half turnovers and only allowed two points.
The Lady Vikings only allowed the Lady Tigers three field goals in the first half to take a 23-7 lead into the locker room.
“Michaela Jones and the rest of the team really work hard to put pressure defense on the opposing teams,” Danville coach Brian Anderson said. “It’s something we concentrate on in practice”
Urbana’s best player — Kiara Moses — was held to 11 points with most of them coming late in the game as Danville’s defense stifled Urbana and Moses.
“Our game plan was to put pressure on the Lady Tigers and keep the ball out of Moses hand,” Anderson said. “Overall, I thought we did a good job of that.”
Freshman Jill Cooper-Watson had a double-double on Thursday with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
“I try to work hard to help the team rebound and score,” Cooper-Watson said.
The Lady Vikings had a good offense flow all game, and played aggressively against the Lady Tigers’ 2-3 zone.
Danville was getting good looks for Megan Burton (six points), Alexis Hoskins (eight points), and Jones (13 points) outside and Cooper-Watson on the inside.
“I thought they had good ball movement and had good shot selection tonight against the Lady Tigers,” Anderson said. “We missed a few shots early but we kept being aggressive and the shot started to fall.”
“The team works hard and we put in some time during the summer to become a better unit,” Cooper-Watson said.
Danville is now 4-4 on the season and next plays Tuesday night at Bloomington, where they are hoping to get over the .500 mark.