In the second round of the sectional tournament, Turpin faced the Fairfield Indians of the GMC and after an evenly played 1st quarter, the Spartan defense completely took control of the game by yielding only 4 points in each of the next two quarters on the way to solid 45-30 victory and a trip to the sectional finals next Tuesday.
Both teams came into the contest wanting to set the tone early. For the Indians who started four sophomores, the objective was to use their deep bench and wear down the Spartans and to get the ball out of the hands of Spartan senior point guard, Kaitlyn Workman. For Turpin, the game plan was to make the Indians earn every point by limiting easy baskets as well as utilize the skill set of senior center, Charlotte Kerregan.
Each team opened the game by exchanging turnovers, but Ellie Holt ensured that a slow start was not in the cards by draining a deep 3 pointer to get the scoring started. After a pair of Fairfield baskets, the Spartans showed discipline offensively using several passes to get high percentage shots. As a result, Kerregan and Elise Schulok each scored baskets in the paint. Back and forth for each team as the game began to take shape. Savanah Hazenfield demonstrated her athleticism late in the quarter by retrieving a deep pass to break the press which required her to save the ball from going out of bounds in front of the Fairfield bench. Upon regaining her balance as well as the ball, the junior guard took a pair of dribbles toward the arc and exploited the lack of pressure on her. She calmly sank a 3 pointer. The two 3 pointers for the Spartans in the first were critical in that the Indians now had to focus on defending the perimeter which in turn would open up the interior for the Spartan offense. Turpin led 11-10 after one.
In the 2nd, Turpin transitioned to a mix of zone defenses which the Indians out of their run and gun comfort zone. The Indians only managed two baskets for the quarter. The Spartans were quick to take advantage by going inside early and often. Kerregan recorded a pair of interior baskets and Olivia Hamilton followed suit with a basket of her own in the paint. Workman, who was getting hounded defensively, drove to the hoop and drew a blocking foul. Kaitlyn sank both her free throws as the Spartans led 19-14 going into the locker room.
For second consecutive tournament game, the Spartans started the 2nd half with energy and execution. Lindsey Viel opened the scoring with a drive and floating one hander for two. The Turpin game plan was working to perfection as Kerregan recorded three more interior baskets and Olivia scored a pair of field goals as well as the Fairfield defense was getting into foul trouble and had no answer for the Spartan interior game. Meanwhile, the Spartan defense continued to create chaos on the Indians offense. Fairfield scores only one basket and a pair from the foul line in the 3rd. Holt sinks both her foul shots as the Spartans use a 14-4 run to take a 33-18 lead heading into the final quarter.
Early in the 4th, the Fairfield game plan started to function. With nine players playing in multiple quarters, they were wearing down the Spartans which resulted in a pair of baskets off of steals in transition. However, the deficit was too much as time ticked by. Kerregan scored another interior basket for her game high 14 points. However, it was Workman’s ball handling and court sense that stalled the Fairfield rally as she assisted on lay-ups for Holt and Schulok. Hazenfield’s driving floater from the right block followed a handful of free throws that rounded out the scoring. In the end, the Spartan defensive display in the middle quarters was the key to victory.
Scoring: Kerregan 14; Holt 8; O. Hamilton 6; Hazenfield 5; Schulok 5; Workman 4; Viel 3
Up Next- Sectional Finals: Turpin faces Mason, February 28th at 6:00pm at Lakota East.