LOUISVILLE – The visiting Manual girls basketball team did little wrong, despite not having their head coach* on the bench, as they dispatched host Assumption with a stifling defensive effort and an efficient offensive attack. The Lady Crimsons defeated the Rockets 59-35 to improve to 4-0 on the season.
“We were prepared. We were focused on defense,” said interim head coach Chris Morris. “In the first half we came out with some intensity. I credit the girls for playing great and coming out with great intensity.”
Morris, in his first varsity experience as the lead play caller while head coach Jeff Sparks welcomed his daughter into the world, admitted to being a little nervous: “It’s easy being nervous when the girls know what they are doing.
“We shot extraordinarily well from three point range, I think we were 7 of 9 from behind the line. One thing we are preaching is sharing the ball, passing the ball around, and the girls did a great job doing that. There’s nothing I can criticize them about trying to the share the ball. I’m glad they came prepared to play today.”
Manual is just a very well coached team,” said Assumption head coach Amy Siegel. “Their patience in the half court was excellent. They are very disciplined. They make 5, 6, 7 passes until they get the shot they want.
“(Manual has) great potential in the region. They play well together. They move the ball. They have weapons. When I look at the region, and I haven’t seen everybody, but they’re as deep as you can get. I think fundamentally in the press their athleticism affected us. They create their offense with their defense because of that pressure.”
Manual was led in scoring by sophomore Tonysha Curry with 20 points. Freshman Jaela Johnson added 12 points for the Lady Crimsons. Senior Nora Kiesler led the Rockets with 8 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Holly Wurth added 8 points for Assumption (0-3).
“We’re still trying to develop confidence,” Siegel said. “I will never fault their effort because we do play very very hard. I’m anxious for them to start grabbing hold of the system and do some of the things we’re asking, but they don’t quit, they won’t quit, and that’s just a tribute to their guts.”
*Editor’s Note: The Louisville Women’s Sports Network would like to congratulate Manual head coach Jeff Sparks on the arrival of new baby girl Madeline Elizabeth Sparks.