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Posted: 01/09/13

Defense leads to good
offense for varsity girls

by RICK DESOTELL
Observer Sports Writer
      They say defense wins championships, and while that might not always be the case, it definitely can help you win a lot of games.
       Over the last few contests, the Romeo girls' varsity basketball team has held their opponents to an average of just six points in seven of the last eight quarters they have played.
       As a result of their stingy defense, the Lady Bulldogs, which have allowed more than 10 points in just one quarter in two games, are 2-0 in their recent stretch with wins over Mattawan and previously unbeaten Sterling Heights to improve to 5-2 overall.
       "We're doing very well at the defensive end which is giving us opportunities on the offensive end,'' said Romeo Coach Connie Hernden. "Our offense is starting to look better and the girls are becoming more confident in their abilities."
       Romeo 45, Mattawan 38:
       Dec. 30, in the Motor City Round Ball Classic Tourney held at Detroit Country Day, Lindsey Hernden finished with a team-high 17 points and eight assists to lead the Lady Bulldogs to a non-league win.
       Romeo jumped out to a 14-9 first quarter, led increased its lead to 30-18 at halftime and, thanks to a 9-2 third quarter lead by 19 points (39-20) heading into the fourth.
       "We played a strong game overall, but didn't close the game out like we should," said Hernden. "We need to play a complete game no matter what the score and close out opponents."
       Center Lauren Bright had a nice game for Romeo, finishing with 10 points and five rebounds; Chelsea Malburg had a season-high eight points to go along with five rebounds and two steals, Danielle Szajna was next with four points and four rebounds and Kylie Resner, Jodie Bosheers and Briana Becker had two points each.
       Romeo 46, Sterling Heights 22:
       Friday, Jan. 4, at Romeo, the Lady Bulldogs held Sterling Heights scoreless in the third quarter on their way to a 46-22 MAC crossover win in a make up game from Dec. 11.
       Romeo led 13-4 after one quarter of play, 23-14 at the half and 35-14 heading into the fourth.
       "This was our best defensive effort so far this year,'' said Hernden. "Anytime you hold a team to zero points in a quarter, you are doing something right. We beat an undefeated team by taking everything away from them on the offensive end. Sterling Heights is a strong dribble drive, penetrating team and we didn't allow them to get into the paint, instead made them shoot from the perimeter and they were a little rusty coming off Christmas break."
       Romeo (5-2) was led by Hernden with 16 points, Bright had 11, Becker and Resner had four points each; Bosheers was next with three and Ariana Compo, Morgan Gardner, Malburg and Szajna had two points apiece.
       "Our offense is becoming more consistent as we scored in double digits in each of the quarters,'' said Hernden. "One thing that has definitely gotten better since the season started is our ability to get rebounds. Lauren Bright, Chelsea Malburg, Jodie Bosheers and Kylie Resner are all doing a great job of grabbing boards and then getting the ball to our guards to start the offense. I thought Chelsea had a great game she just plays with so much heart and intensity."
       This week Romeo will host L'Anse Creuse and then face highly regarded Dakota Friday night at Dakota.
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