By Rob Kiser
Miami Valley Today
COVINGTON —An oustanding first half by the Anna girls basketball team doomed Miami East chances in Covington D-III district semifinal Monday night as the Vikings bowed out at 12-12 in a 49-30 loss.
But, what East showed in the second half is one of the reasons Vanover leaves feeling good about what the Vikings accomplished this season.
And that started with his lone senior — Camryn Miller.
“I just have to thank Camryn (Miller) for the countless time and work she is put into our program the last four years,” Vanover said with emotion in his voice. “We lost a really good player (Morgan Haney) and made it back to the sectional finals and went 12-12. It is our fifth time in six years being to the sectional finals.”
Vanover also praised his assistant coaches.
“I want to thank Kevin Evans for the job he did with our offense,” Vanover said. “He came over from the boys side and all the different offensive sets we ran and the countless hours he spent watching film. Gary Thompson did a great job with the skills and drills and I have to thank Shandar Thompson for the work she did with our post players. We wouldn’t be where we are without her.”
The Vikings came in with a great game plan.
Try to keep Anna off the board with their 1-2-2 zone and execute on the offensive end.
But, Anna had different ideas.
The Rockets came out and hit 14 of 23 shots in the first half.
In the first quarter it was their post players.
Ella Doseck scored seven points in the opening quarter Lauren Barhorst added six.
“That’s been our bread and butter all year,” Maurer said. “We don’t necessarily need our post post players to score, but we want to get them touches.”
But, Camryn Miller countered with five points to get the Vikings within 12-8.
The Rockets then answered with 13 straight points to go up 25-8 midway through the second quarter and took a 33-12 lead to the locker room.
The first quarter ended with a basket by Barhorst and a three-point play by Doseck to make it 17-8.
Michaela Ambos started the second quarter with a basket, followed by back-to-back 3-pointers by Kayli Brewer to blow it open at 25-8 and the Rockets led 33-12 at halftime.
“We got in a hole because they knocked down shots,” Vanover said. “They did a nice job against our zone. We probably let them have a few too many touches in the post. We wanted to make them shoot from deep and they knocked the shots down.
“And we had some missed shots and turnovers which didn’t help anything.”
But, it was a different story in the third quarter.
East came out in a man defense and outscored Anna 11-3 to cut the Rockets lead to 37-23.
“We tried to warn the kids at halftime,” Anna coach Matt Maurer said. “It was 0-0 going to the third quarter. They switched to a man defense and we didn’t do a good job attacking it.”
Vanover knew he had no choice.
“We switched to a man defense for probably the first time since the third game,” Vanover said. “I just wish we had went with it from the start of the game. You can’t get very far down playing a 1-2-2 zone, so we switched things up.”
Anna regained control in the fourth quarter, getting the ball inside to Barhorst, as she was 4-for-4 from the floor in the fourth quarter to finish with a game-high 18 points and five rebounds.
“I thought we did a good job handling the situation,” Maurer said. “It would have been easy to panic when they got back within 14 points.”
Doseck added 11 points and six rebounds for Anna.
Miller led Miami East with 10 points.
Anna was 21 of 36 from the floor for 58 percent and four of five from the line for 80 percent.
East was 11 of 32 from the floor for 34 percent and four of seven from the line for 57 percent.
Anna won the battle of the boards 23-15 and had nine turnovers to Miami East’s 11.
“If I am not mistaken, we oustscored them by two (18-16) in the second half,” Vanover said. “Cam (Camryn Miller) is the only player we lose and we have some coming into the program.”
Just another reason Vanover feels very good about what the program accomplished this year.
Contact Rob Kiser at [email protected].
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