The Shekinah Christian girls basketball team basically slept through an entire half of a first round Division IV district tournament game Wednesday at Jonathan Alder High School.
Luckily for the No. 3 Flames (18-5) the alarm went off during halftime of its game with No. 11 Tree of Life (9-14) and they responded by pulling away for a 49-23 victory.
With the win Shekinah advances in the postseason and will host No. 4 Danville Saturday, Feb. 24, back at Jonathan Alder at 1 p.m.
Flames coach Ernie Yutzy wasn’t sure what happened in the first half but he knows that his team will have to play much more like it did in the second half if it’s going to advance any further in the tournament.
“I think the difference was we finally started to play the proper way in the second half, without fouling,” the coach said. “I don’t know what it is, whether it was the first game of the tournament or what. I don’t know how to explain the first half. It wasn’t us, but we kind of got their attention at halftime and came out in the second half and played better. We played defense better and that set up our offense.”
“We played them twice during the regular season, we controlled the ball better in the past. I respect the teams we play, we don’t take anybody for granted, but we didn’t come out with the intensity I thought we should have tonight.”
Shekinah led just 8-5 after a quarter and 19-13 at the break. The Flames opened the second half with a 14-0 run to open up a much more comfortable 33-13 lead.
Madison Miller made two free throws to start the run. Mandi Scheffel knocked down a three-pointer, which was followed by another bucket by Miller, a three pointer and a short jumper from Kelsey Beachy and an interior make by Dani Headings. The Shekinah lead was 36-16 after three quarters.
“We were able to run the ball in the second half and that helped get us going,” Yutzy said.
“We’ve got to play better on Saturday (Feb. 24) in order to win that game. I think we all know that. I’m proud of the girls because they hung in there tonight, our girls picked up their level of play up to the a level we’re use to playing. I’m looking forward to Saturday and hope we come out with a victory.”
Natalie Headings led the Flames with 14 points. Dani Headings finished with 10, while Scheffel (nine) and Beachy (eight) also had solid nights offensively.”
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.
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