It didn’t take long for Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School girls basketball coach Nate Pelletier to formulate a game plan before Saturday night’s game against the Brewer Witches.
Take it inside.
With a noticeable height advantage against a smaller opponent, the Vikings defeated Brewer 42-20. Where the Vikings fell short on the outside shooting end of the game, they more than compensated for it inside the paint and underneath the basket.
“That was our goal, to go go inside,” Pelletier said after his team’s win. “The key was to be able to finish inside.”
Finish the Vikings did. The Vokings were never challenged in the contest, leading at one point 37-11.
Pelletier expressed concern about his team’s not-so-great outside shooting performance, as other teams are likely to pick up on what looks like a weakness.
“Absolutely,” Pelletier replied when asked about his concern. With a tall but inexperienced team, other teams may decide to employ a zone defense that can contain the Vikiings’ taller players while not compromising much on the way of outside shooting.
Pelletier said his players may have been a little nervous as the game on Saturday, Jan. 4, was his team’s first home game “in a while.
“We’re going to play teams that (play us) with a zone,” Pelletier said.”That’s pretty much what we’re working on.”
Much of the scoring and rebounding for the Vikings was handled by Sophomore Tianna Sugars, junior Anna Winslow and senior Brooke Murch.
For Brewer, freshmen Madison Birch and Courtney Pearson each knocked down three pointers to amke the contest interesting
Brewer Coach Andy Nickerson was philosophical about the outcome, citing both Oxford Hills’ size advantage and his own team’s youthfulness.
Both teams have the majority of their players returning, as each has only three seniors on this year’s squads. Both teams have a couple of 9th graders as well as several 10th and 11th graders.
“They’re a good team,” Nickerson said. “They’re one of the more dominant teams in our division., We are very young, very inexperienced.”