DELPHOS – Defensive pressure can create opportunities for a basketball team.
At halftime of Monday’s nonconference girls basketball game against visiting Fort Jennings, Delphos Jefferson coach Denise Lindeman preached to her team about getting after it on the defensive end of the court.
Her team responded.
After trailing 24-22 at the halftime break, Delphos Jefferson came out in the second half and pressured Fort Jennings from end to end, en route to a 63-48 victory at Delphos Jefferson High School.
“That’s the only thing we talked about,” Lindeman said. “Defensively, just keep moving. … Keep buzzing those feet, have high hands, and be physical inside. I thought they did a nice job in the second half.”
Aly Lindeman, the coach’s daughter, led Delphos Jefferson (9-12) and all scorers with 24 points, including 11 of 15 shooting from the free throw line. Lindeman also came away with six rebounds and four assists.
Addy Stewart scored 14 points, including three 3-pointers. Stewart made four steals at the defensive end. Kaylee Buzard added eight points and five boards for Delphos Jefferson.
“Aly played well tonight,” Coach Lindeman said about her daughter. “She got a lot of extra gym time in this week. It was good to see her go out and shoot the ball the way she did.”
Kristen Luersman led Fort Jennings (4-17) with 19 points and six rebounds. Teammate Jessie Foust had 17 points and three assists.
Fort Jennings jumped out to an early 5-0 lead. A 3-pointer by Foust jump-started the Musketeers.
Delphos Jefferson battled back and eventually claimed the lead, 6-5, on two free throws by Delany Deuel (six points, four rebounds).
That lead was short-lived for the Wildcats.
The Musketeers slipped out with a 12-9 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Foust led Fort Jennings with eight first-quarter points.
Delphos Jefferson was just 2 of 10 shooting from the field in the first eight minutes.
The Wildcats cut it to 2, four times in the second quarter.
With 2:54 left to play in the first half, Josie McGue (three points) hit one of two shots from the free throw line to cut it to 1, 20-19.
The Musketeers slipped into the locker room at halftime with the two-point advantage.
Foust led the way for Fort Jennings, with 12 points and three assists in the first half. Luersman added eight points and three boards for the Musketeers.
Lindeman led Delphos Jefferson with nine first-half points.
Jefferson opened with a 10-0 run to start the second half, pulling out to a 32-24 lead.
Lindeman had a 3-pointer and a layup in that run for the Wildcats. Stewart had a three. Delphos Jefferson made its first five shot attempts.
Delphos Jefferson led 43-34 by the end of the third quarter.
For the game, Delphos Jefferson shot 45 percent from the field. Fort Jennings connected on 36 percent from the field.
Delphos Jefferson committed 17 turnovers on the night. Fort Jennings turned it over 19 times.
“This is one of the biggest teams we’ve faced this year,” Coach Lindeman said. “They’re tall and physical. But I thought when our girls would push the ball, I didn’t think they would be able to stay with us. Our girls did a good job of pushing the ball”