The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Sports

December 5, 2013

Lady Vikings commit 33 turnovers in loss

TARBORO — The Tarboro Lady Vikings had trouble controlling the basketball Wednesday night against the Nash Central Lady Bulldogs. Tarboro committed 33 turnovers and Nash Central turned those Viking miscues into 27 points. Nash Central took control of the game from the outset and defeated Tarboro 65-34.

"They (Bulldogs) are a good team and they outplayed us on both ends of the floor," Tarboro coach Jamie WIlloughby said. "They just outplayed us in every aspect of the game., but one game doesn't define our season."

The Vikings (1-1) not only had trouble handling the ball, they couldn't make lay-ups or short, easy jump shots. The Vikings missed 14 shots within six feet of the basket and had trouble scoring on open chances.

"It's very frustrating to see us miss shots like we did, but the positive is we're going to get better," Willoughby said. "We won't keep missing lay-ups and easy shots like this all season because we will get better. I told them that tonight after the game."

Tarboro didn't have an answer for Nash Central's feisty point guard Niya Styles. She scored 18 points and 11 of them came in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 8-4 lead. Then Styles connected on a three pointer and then assisted Rebecca Speight on a layup. Nash Central led 17-8 after one.

Senior A'Jah Williams was the catalyst for the Vikings in the first quarter. She scored six of the eight points in the frame before being taken out of the game after she was hit in the eye on a shot from the paint when she got fouled. Shayla Thorne shot the free throws for Williams and made them both, which were her only two points of the game.

Another senior, Nyasha Savage, also gave the Vikings a small lift. She scored a team-high 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds, but she had trouble holding onto the basketball. She committed six turnovers on either drives to the basket or careless passes.

"A'Jah and Nyasha are seniors and they should be our leaders on the floor," Willoughby said. "Those two have been with us for a while and they have a good understanding of what is going on, but unfortunately we need more people to score. We have to get more points out of others."

The Bulldogs continued to turn Viking miscues into points in the second quarter. Speight led the charge in that segment with six points. Savage hit a three and a layup for the Vikings in the quarter, but the Bulldogs controlled the tempo and led 30-16 at halftime.

"I told them at halftime that they weren't doing anything different then what we thought coming into the game," Willoughby said. "I told them our problems came from turnovers and missed jump shots and they turned them into lay-ups."

Tarboro scored four quick points in the third quarter, but Nash Central turned the tides and went on a 7-0 run before Savage drained a jumper. The Bulldogs then closed out the third on an 11-2 run which mainly came from Tarboro turnovers and took a commanding 50-24 lead.

"They made shots and we didn't. That with the turnovers was the main difference in the game," Willoughby said. "We just threw the ball up to get rid of it. That is something we will get better at because we are going to work on it and we have a lot of season left."

Tarboro had a bright spot in the game from the free throw line. They shot 6 for 8 from the line and Nash Central was 6 for 10.

Defense is the main key for Willoughby this season. She wants her team to understand that if they play pressure defense and force mistakes on their opponents then they could turn them into points like Nash Central did on them.

"We have to work on our defense and our overall effort," Willoughby said. "I think we need to hustle and go after every ball harder then what we are doing at this point. Sometimes we're a little reluctant to go after them. We need to let our defense generate our offense and then we don't have to work as hard on the offensive end."

Tarboro is back in action Monday when they host Edenton Holmes. If you bring a can good to the game for the food drive, then the admission will be just $5.

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