Until about halfway through the second quarter on Saturday, the Troy High School girls basketball team kept ahead of the Copperheads.
Thereafter they steadily fell further behind, losing by a 30-point margin.
The Copperheads struggled early, pushing to the basket time after time, but not making any of their shots outside of free throws until late in the quarter.
The Copperheads had little trouble getting their hands on the ball, with senior Sydnie Peterson grabbing multiple steals off the Lady Trojans. Yet, almost none of their possessions were turning into points early on.
Senior Allie Coldwell led Troy in scoring for the game, scoring 8 of the points that gave the Lady Trojans a 13-8 lead going into the second quarter. As the quarter closed, Anaconda Head Coach Brian Evans was yelling at his team to focus on Coldwell.
As the game progressed, the Copperheads began landing more of their attempts, just as Coldwell struggled with avoiding fouls, leaving her out for much of the third quarter.
Though fellow senior Kaitlyn Downey and sophomores Katelynn Tallmadge and Montana Rice also added to the scoring, the team’s scorecard leaned much more heavily on Coldwell than just the night before against Eureka.
With Anaconda leading 35-20, a third-quarter timeout and words from Head Coach Justin Young seemed to put energy back into the team. Downey followed with multiple aggressive attacks, but aside from a single point from a free throw, the Copperhead defense repeatedly denied her.
In the fourth quarter, as Coldwell reentered the game and immediately scored, the Lady Trojan offense seemed to rally. Yet, the Copperhead defense had adapted since the first quarter, and held off any Lady Trojan rally.
“The girls are a little down, because they knew that was one they really should have had,” Young said.
Young said fouls got the team in trouble, but also movement.
“We’ve been getting just a little too stationary on offense, and especially defense,” he said.
The repeated breaks in game flow from fouls did not help with that either, he said.
“Basketball’s a game of smoothness and transition, and you want it to be as fluid as possible,” Young said.
As the scoring gap mounted and whistles blew, frustration showed on the faces of several players, even as their teammates encouraged them.
Young said for those situations, the players have to know the difference between the factors they can control and those they cannot, and persevere through it.
“I still honestly believe, if we can play 32 minutes of basketball at an intense level, we’re capable still of beating any team in divisionals,” Young said. “It’s just a matter of not making silly mistakes, and getting hot right at the right time.”
Anaconda 56, Troy 26
Anaconda: 8 19 18 11 - 56
Troy: 13 7 1 5 - 26
Anaconda: Claire Miller 4 points, 0-1 FT; Lindsey Seitzinger 2 points; Sydnie Peterson 17 points, 4-6 FT; Megan Reich 13 points, 1-2 FT; Arieona Mattson 2 points; Macy Matdsich 2 points; Isabel Saltenberger 7 points, 3-4 FT; Logan Stetzner 9 points, 4-5 FT
Troy: Allie Coldwell 15 points, 2-3 FT; Kaitlyn Downey 7 points, 4-8 FT; Katelynn Tallmadge 3 points, 1-4 FT; Montana Rice 1 point, 1-4 FT