Turpin hosted McNicholas with the final game before the holiday break, and the Spartans sixth game in 12 days started adequately. The hosts man to man defense kept them in the game; however, the Spartans could never get their offense functioning. In the end, Turpin came up short versus the Rockets in a 31-25 defeat.
A free-flowing game ensued with the Rockets hitting a 3 pointer to get things started, but Ellie Holt drew Turpin level immediately thereafter with a 3 pointer of her own. Olivia Hamilton scored a basket on a sound interior post move as Turpin trailed by 1 with 3:00 left. The Rockets went on a 5-0 run, but the Spartans responded with a 5-0 run as well. Corinne Nikolai sank a 3 pointer from the top right-side arc, then on the next possession, Hamilton drew a foul while shooting and calmly drained both free throws. Turpin trailed 11-10 after the 1st.
Both team’s defenses dictated the flow of the game in the 2nd. Holt hit a baseline jumper to keep it close while a lone Nikolai free throw accounted for Turpin scoring with just seconds to spare. Then, down 4 with time running out, Elise Schulok buried a 3-pointer at the halftime horn. The hosts had limited their offensive shortfall and still trailed by a lone point, 17-16.
Turpin’s luck ran out in the 3rd with the Rockets opening the quarter on a 7-0 run. The visitors defense was well prepared for the Spartans offensive sets as open shots and good looks at the rim were few and far between. Lindsey Viel tried to reverse fortunes with a dribble drive to the rim, but she was fouled in her shot attempt. She followed up by sinking both free throws. Minutes later, Nikolai corralled an offensive rebounded and scored on the put back bank shot, but that was the only field goal in the quarter. Suddenly, the Rocket lead extended to 8 points, 28-20.
The Spartans used their defense in an attempt to comeback. After Holt scored a jump shot, Hamilton blocked Rocket field goal attempts on consecutive defensive stands. Then, Savanna Hazenfield filled it from 3-point land as the hosts only trailed 28-25. With 3 minutes remaining, the Rockets scored their only field goal of the quarter to go up 30-25. Neither team could score for the next two minutes and even as Turpin fouled to stop the clock and get the Rockets to the foul line, the visitors could not put the game away by making only 1 of 6 free throws. Sadly, the Spartans could not devise or create any opportunities to score. Turpin falls 31-25 in defeat to their neighborhood rivals.
Scoring: Holt 7; Nikolai 6; Hamilton 4; Hazenfield 3; Schulok 3; Viel 2
Next: Turpin travels to Withrow. 7:30pm Wednesday, January 3rd. Happy Holidays!