DALEVILLE, IND - Although Daleville finished last season with only three wins, they entered Tuesday evening’s game with Knightstown matching last year’s win total with only one loss.
The Broncos are averaging better stats all across the board, from almost twenty more points per game, and eight steals per game.
“The team is just buying into what we’re trying to get,” head coach Brandon Hanshew said.“We’re a very young and inexperienced team, so we’re throwing a lot at them, and they’re responding well.
With only three upperclassmen, Henshaw believes that the younger players will need to contribute right away.
He talked about returning sophomore point guard Addisyn Gothrup who averaged fifteen points per game her freshman year, and he said he expects the same this year. Senior Olivia Pratcher had not played basketball before this season, and Hanshew expects her to also be a huge part of the team.
Though with the success, the match with Knightstown did not go the Broncos’ way as they fell 44-37.
The game at Daleville Junior/Senior High School began as a back-and-forth matchup. Both teams had similar offenses, attacking the rim and getting to the foul line early. Senior Isabelle Williams was able to draw a couple of fouls and get to the line, which helped set the tone for the Broncos.
“It’s very important, especially for our guards,” Williams said. “It’s really important for me and my teammates to drive and attack, especially when we know that the other team can easily foul.”
Even after a strong start from Daleville (3-2) , Knightstown (3-1) was able to quickly strike back, adding a couple of three-pointers of their own, and taking a 12-11 lead after the first quarter.
Starting the second quarter, the Panthers did not stop adding to their lead. They forced turnovers left and right, Even after a Daleville timeout, the Panthers kept giving the Broncos problems and rode into halftime with a 28-16 lead.
“It’s tough,” Williams said. “It’s definitely tough to keep our energy up when we’re going into the locker room being down double digits at halftime.”
To start the third quarter, the Broncos were more aggressive on defense, full-court pressing for the majority of the quarter. That aggressiveness is what helped Daleville creep back into the game, and headed into the fourth quarter with only a six-point deficit, trailing 34-28.
“We just came out with a new mentality in the second half,” Williams said. “We came out to give 110 percent effort and just went on from there.”
Daleville looked to make a push to get their fourth victory of the year. However, Knightstown kept their composure and went on to win the game. Though the Broncos took the loss, there are still some positive takeaways.
“I want them to show the grit they showed in the second half all season. That second half I couldn’t have asked for more effort. But that’s what I was saying, that they need to do that in the first half.”
Daleville will be back in action Nov. 18 on the road at Wapahani.
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