Charleroi gets past '5' foe Washington
It may not have been pretty, but first-year Charleroi Lady Cougars basketball coach Joe Grodz will take it.
As the old adage goes, a coach would rather win ugly than lose pretty.
Charleroi (4-1, 2-0) played stifling defense for 32 minutes, only giving up 10 Washington baskets, as the host Lady Cougars downed the Lady Prexies (2-3, 1-1) in a Section 5 AA contest, 39-35.
“Our pressure was key, especially with Rachel Ritzer,” Grodz said. “Defensively, she is a game-changer and she created havoc.
“We know that if we play our type of defense, we will limit the other teams offensively.”
Grodz kept Washington off-balance by playing a myriad of defenses.
“We have a huge repertoire of defenses that we show,” he said. “We probably used seven or eight defenses tonight to keep them guessing.
“We create turnovers that way.”
Wash High scored first when India March converted an old fashioned three point play to give the guests a 3-0 lead, but a Carina Gottheld basket and a Mia Woytovich try gave Charleroi a 5-3 lead and it never trailed again.
Charleroi led 10-8 after the first quarter and by the time Washington scored its first point of the second quarter with 4:59 to go on a free throw, the Lady Cougars held a five point lead.
Washington trimmed the Charleroi lead to 16-14 at halftime, but two quick Charleroi baskets to start the second half gave the hosts a 20-14 lead.
The physicality of the contest picked up in the third quarter, and both teams began getting into foul trouble.
The teams combined to make more free throws (25) than field goals (24).
Charleroi held a 27-23 lead after three quarters, and it went on a 6-1 run to open the fourth quarter.
Washington got no closer than the final. Charleroi now looks ahead to a big game Thursday at South Side Beaver.
To prepare, Grodz did not hesitate in talking about limiting second chances.
“We have to keep it one and done and we have been pushing on,” he said. “Backside rebounds and crashing the backside boards is something that we have to work on.”
Woytovich led Charleroi with 15 points with Gottheld added 11.
“Carina has hit double figures in every game and she is stepping up for us in different ways,” Grodz said.
Taja Gordon led Washington with 10 points.
Bill Hughes is a freelance writer.