Nicole Harcourt goes for 15 points in the loss
As their struggles to attain victory this season continue, the Lady Lions haven't enjoyed much by way of offensive success. That, according to head coach Billy McKinney, could be about to change.
St. Helens (0-14, 0-6 NWOC) lost 47-40 on the road to Sandy (9-6, 4-2 NWOC) on Friday night, but the Lions got a huge game from senior guard Nicole Harcourt, who, along with fellow senior Rianne Tupper, sparked a big run to end the game.
Though St. Helens' 10-1 rally fell short in the final minutes, it makes a statement: when the Lions want to score in the new system, they can. Their 19 points in the final quarter is a season-high, as was their production from beyond the three-point line, where Tupper and Harcourt combined for six makes.
The new system is a simple one, and that seems to be the idea: leave one player in the post, and spread the other four out near the perimeter. Unlike the old system, where the guards would work tirelessly to get the ball inside, everything works from that position, using screens to get cutters free for layups or three-point shots.
McKinney was pleased with the effort, remarking that the reaction from the Sandy coaching staff, who praised the team as being one of the bigger league challenges this season despite their winless record, was a major confidence boost to the girls.
The kids' confidence is sky-high, he said. It's gonna do some things for us, we've just got to learn to finish.
Harcourt finished with a team-high 15 points on 3/5 shooting from long range, and Tupper had 11 points and three steals.
Sandy 47, St. Helens 40
STHE 8 7 6 19 – 40
SAND 12 13 13 9 – 47
St. Helens (40): Harcourt 15, Kyle-Milward, Tupper 11, Hembree, Roth, Reardon 2, Nollette 4, Cochran 8