LEWISBURG — The Ansonia Lady Tigers basketball team used a total team effort on the road Thursday, defeating Tri-County North 43-42.
“We look forward to a lot more victories the rest of the season,” Ansonia coach Jim Bolin said. “We’re just hitting our stride.”
The Tigers’ lone senior and team leader, Catey Fischer, showed her leadership abilities in guiding a young Ansonia team to victory with the team’s second-leading scorer and ball handler, Lydia Sink, on the bench in street clothes with a wrist injury.
“We played fairly well, but we were playing without our second-leading scorer, Lydia (Sink),” Bolin said. “That hurt us some.”
The Lady Tigers quickly faced a 4-0 deficit just 30 seconds into the contest before Gayla Crabtree knocked down a bucket in the paint.
Fischer followed with a defensive rebound, driving the length of the court and hitting a layup and a foul shot for a three-point play for a Tigers 5-4 lead.
Fischer picked up two quick fouls in a matter of 1:16 at the 2:35 point in the first quarter as the Panthers made a 8-2 run to lead 12-7 with 1:38 to play in the period.
“Monica (Stover) had two (fouls), also, so we had two starters with two fouls to start out with,” Bolin said. “We were playing short so we came out pretty good.
“We went to a one-two-two (defense) with quick fouls on Fisher and Stover,” Bolin said. “They didn’t seem like they knew what to do with it so we stayed with it the rest of the ballgame.”
A 3-pointer by Ansonia sophomore guard Stover followed with a Fischer trey from the top of the key brought the first quarter to a close with a 13-12 Tigers lead.
The second quarter got underway with the teams trading leads over the first three minutes.
Leading 17-16, the Lady Tigers used a 10-2 run and a 27-18 advantage with Crabtree knocking down six second-quarter points.
The Panthers got two late baskets, trimming the Tigers’ halftime lead to 27-22.
Ansonia jumped out to a 30-22 third quarter advantage with Allison Phillippi popping in a trey followed with a 5-0 Panther run, shrinking the Tigers’ lead to 30-27.
Back-to-back baskets from Fischer and Abby Helmke pushed the Ansonia lead to 34-27.
At 3:57 in the period Fisher took an elbow to the nose, sending the Tigers’ team leader to the bench.
“She’s a tough girl. It’s hard to get her to sit down. I knew she would only be out for a few minutes,” Bolin said. “My other post player, Gayla (Crabtree), had a bloody mouth that happened at the same time.”
With 1:03 on the clock the Panthers evened the score at 34-34 with Fisher checking back in the game and hitting a spin move in the paint at 0:09 for a 36-34 Tigers lead going to the final period of play.
“We were kind of lackadaisical a couple of times down on defense so I called a timeout and told the girls if you’re going to take a break girls, take it on the offensive end,” Bolin said. “You can’t take it on the defensive end.”
Fisher hit a bucket from the top of the key to open fourth quarter play followed with a Panthers basket and free throw for a Tigers one-point lead with 6:51 on the clock.
The Tigers made a 5-0 run on a Phillippi 3-pointer and a Fischer goal with an assist from freshman Stefani Garrett to lead 43-37.
North would get a basket and a trey with time running out as the Lady Tigers held on for a 43-42 win.
“Gayla Crabtree played a really good game,” Bolin said. “Abby (Helmke), another freshman, came in and really played well for us.”
Fisher led Ansonia and all scorers with 17 points.
Scoring by quarters: 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Ansonia 13 14 9 7 43
Tri-County North 12 10 12 8 42
Ansonia scoring: C. Fischer 17, G. Crabtree 11, A. Phillippi 10, M. Stover 3, A. Helmke 2
Tri-County North scoring: J. Marshall 16, M. Duffy 8, K. Vanover 7, A Kring 6, K. Simpson 5