January 7, 2015

Hazen defense proves tough

By Jarann Johnson

The Hazen Bison girls’ basketball team wasn’t entering their first game of 2015 with bright smiles. They were entering the New Year with the hunger and hope to break an unpleasant three-game losing streak.
The Bison ended 2014 with three straight road losses, so Monday evening’s home game against Mott-Regent was an opportunity to press the reset button in the confines of a familiar venue. The Bison did just that grabbing a 24-point win at home.
The key to the win was the Bison’s defense. In the first quarter the Bison defense only allowed Mott-Regent to score four points. Bison Head Coach John Ward credited his team’s strong defensive performance with a better understanding of how to play full-court high-pressure defense.
“It was good pressure defense. We’ve been working on our press a little bit more to where we do things a little better, we’re rotating a little bit better so that did help, and they (Mott-Regent) are not a real guard-oriented team,” Ward said. “We are just rotating better – we were kind of looking and then rotating and now we are just going. We were always it seemed like a half-second late because we would look then go. It’s got to be automatic, it’s got to be natural.”
At the end of the very strong defensive first quarter the Bison were ahead 22-4. From that point on the Bison stayed in the lead and never seemed to lose control of the game.
At halftime the Bison led 38-20 and, at one point in the second half, the Bison had their largest lead, 62-32, before slowing things down and winning 64-40.


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