ROBINSON — When a team has thoroughly dominated their conference opponents to the degree that the Paris Lady Tigers have this season, opposing coaches — looking for some way to trip the …
ROBINSON — When a team has thoroughly dominated their conference opponents to the degree that the Paris Lady Tigers have this season, opposing coaches — looking for some way to trip the opposition up — open up their bag of tricks.
On Thursday evening, Jan. 23, Olney High School Lady Tiger Coach Mark Anselment did just that.
Anselment implemented a four-corner offense — or the old Dean Smith North Carolina offense for those of you of a certain age. Anselment and his team hoped to take the air out of the basketball — and the Paris Lady Tigers — in the championship game of the Little Illini Conference tournament.
You can only keep an offense as explosive as the Paris Lady Tigers caged up for so long — then bad things — or for Paris — good things — happen.
Paris defeated Olney 61-26 to capture their third consecutive LIC tourney crown leaving no doubt as which is the best team in the conference.
And it’s really not even close.
The victory improves the Lady Tiger record to 26-0 — 5-0 in the LIC — and further solidifies their hold on the top -ranking in the Associated Press Illinois Class 2A girls prep poll.
After winning the opening tip, Olney (18-4,4-2) immediately spread the floor using three different guards to keep the ball near the half court line. For the first 45-plus seconds of the contest, Paris played defense.
For those fans who have attended the Paris games this season, these fans know Coach Dave Tingley’s team loves playing defense. It’s a strong suit for this squad.
Olney eventually turned the ball over with Madyson Rigdon scoring on a layup to give Paris a 2-0 lead. On the next possession, Olney was guilty of a turnover again.
While the Lady Tigers patiently watched Olney try to shorten the game by holding the basketball, the Paris team was laying in the weeds waiting for the opportunity to pounce on any loose ball or errant pass.
By the time the buzzer sounded to signal the end of the first quarter, Paris held a 16-7 lead. If not for a three-point basket at the buzzer, the Olney squad would have been held to just a pair of field goals and a 12-point deficit.
Anselment did not change his game plan in the second quarter. The Olney Lady Tigers continued to hold the basketball in hopes limiting the possessions for the high-scoring, fast-breaking Paris team would allow them to keep the game close.
In the second period, that stubbornness worked to some degree as the Lady Tigers managed to score just eight points. However, the top-ranked Tigers held Olney to just five points and held a 24-12 lead at intermission.
Coach Dave Tingley took the gadget offense implemented by Olney in stride and actually was happy to see it.
“We thought that they might try something different this time and we were right,” Tingley said. “I honestly didn’t think we would see it in the second half — especially down 12 points. I loved it because we need to see it. I’d rather see it now than later. We played it almost perfectly. Our girls did not flinch, were very disciplined and were very coachable.”
In spite of the Paris squad doubling-up the Olney team, Anselment began the third quarter much the same as the start of the game. The Paris Lady Tigers went on a 21-10 run in the quarter to open up a 45-22 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Early in the final eight minutes then Paris forced a running clock for the remainder of the contest.
Leading the offensive attack for the Lady Tigers was sophomore Rigdon who netted 21 points along with three steals. Tingley once again tasked her with defending Olney’s leading scorer Anna Blank, whom was held to just 11 points in the game — 10 points below her average. Sarah Isaf scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds, Karrington Krabel and Kendra Young had 8 points each, Deming Hawkins added three and Katelyn Littleton finished with two.
While not scoring in the game, point guard Jenna Gates handed out seven assists in the contest and Trinity Tingley added four of her own.
The Lady Tigers were 6-of-10 from 3-point range, shot 64% from the field and made nine-of-10 from the free throw line.
One amazing statistic is that the Tigers turned the ball over just once in the entire game.
Paris will host the Robinson Lady Maroons Monday evening at Ernie Eveland Gym. The junior varsity contest will begin at 6 p.m.
Paris 56, Marshall 41
ROBINSON — For the second time this season, the Paris Lady Tigers and the Marshall Lady Lions went to battle on the hardwood.
As all good coaches do, Marshall Coach Kathy Miller made an adjustment to her team’s game plan in this tourney semii-final matchup.
The previous meeting resulted in a 72-31 drubbing by the Lady Tigers(25-0) on Marshall’s home court. This time, the game meant a little bit more as the two rivals were pitted against each other in the semi-final round of the Little Illini Conference tournament.
Even though the result was the same — a victory for the Lady Tigers — the Lady Lions (12-7) held their own in the second half before falling by the score of 56-41.
The 15-point win marks the closest margin of victory for the Tigers over any LIC opponent this season.
Paris held a slim 10-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, extending it to 28-18 at the half. At one point in the third period, Marshall closed the gap to just five points before the Lady Tigers reeled off an 8-0 lead to gain some breathing room.
Sarah Isaf led all scorers in the game with 23 points while also pulling down five rebounds. Karrington Krabel hauled in six boards and added three steals to go along with 16 points. Madyson Rigdon and Katelyn Littleton had six points each, Jenna Gates had three points and dished out four assists and Kelsie Crampton added two to round out the scoring.
Paris 60, Robinson 27
ROBINSON — The Paris Lady Tigers opened play in the LIC tournament Saturday, Jan. 18, and left little doubt as to who the team to beat for the tourney championship was going to be.
After just eight minutes of play. Paris held a 27-2 lead over the Robinson Lady Maroons, then cruised to a 60-27 victory.
In fact, the Tigers scored the first 19 points of the contest as the starters saw just two quarters of action.
Leading the scoring for the Tigers was Sarah Isaf with 16 points. She was followed closely by Karrington Krabel with an all-around effort of 13 points, five rebounds, four assists, and five steals. Trinity Tingley, Jenna Gates, and Katelyn Littleton had 7 points apiece, Madyson Rigdon added six and Kendra Young had four.
The Lady Tigers were an amazing 11-of-12 from the free throw line in the game.