WELLSVILLE — Pressure defense can either be a tool in the arsenal or a hindrance. It certainly was a big facet of Wellsville High School girls basketball team’s success Tuesday against West Franklin in Wellsville.
The Eagles scored quick baskets off its press and completely frustrated West Franklin in a 48-33 victory.
“At times, it worked like we wanted it to,” Wellsville coach Brock Campbell said of the press. “We got some steals and layups. That is how we are going to have to get a lot of our points.
“We are not big. They can throw over the top of everybody we have.”
Ashley Sparks, an all-state volleyball player, used her lateral quickness and jumping ability to get her hands on a lot of balls in the press. Darcy Bonzo found herself in the right place to finish after the steals.
“To her it comes natural,” Campbell said of Bonzo, who scored 17 points. “She is a good leader for us. Erica McTaggart she does a lot of the little things.”
West Franklin coach Kyle Conley said the Falcons played right into the Eagles’ hands.
“Sparks runs to the ball and jumps,” he said. “We did not ball fake.
“If we execute and get to our spots, we are fine. We threw the ball more to White than Blue.”
Conley said the Falcons need to go back the basics.
“It is fundamental things,” he said. “Be smart with the basketball. Seeing the right pass. We will see this every night. We go over it and over it.”
Wellsville jumped on top 9-2, but the Falcons rallied within 9-8. West Franklin scored just three points — all on free throws — in the second quarter.
Bonzo scored three quick buckets in a 21-second span to help spearhead 12-0 run late in the first half.
Wellsville led 31-11 at halftime.
“Offensively we are getting better,” Campbell said. “We made good passes and cuts. We are seeing the floor better.”
Wellsville kept the Falcons from making too big of dent into the 20-point halftime lead during the second half.
“It was a big win for us,” Campbell said. “We want to get a lead and be able to relax. We played really well. Hopefully, we can keep building.”
Conley said it was a tough game for the Falcons.
“It is a tough pill to swallow,” he said. “We got it handed to us. We have to improve. We have to turn the page.”
Emily Newhouse tossed in 10 points and Moriah Kayhill had nine for the Eagles.
Alexis Yelland paced the Falcons with nine points. Macy Flory had seven.
Wellsville (1-1) plays 5 p.m. today at home against Valley Falls.
West Franklin (0-2) plays 5 p.m. today at home versus Oskaloosa.
West Franklin (33) — Miller 6, Reed 2, Whittington 5, Yelland 9, Flory 7, Ryan 2, Crosby 2.
Wellsville (48) — Sparks 2, Geist 2, McTaggart 5, Kayhill 9, Bonzo 17, Newhouse 10, Cunningham 2, Dougan 1.