GREEN: Revenge is a great motivator for any team, despite what coaches and players often say publicly.
Postgame news conferences have the obligatory coach-speak “Well that’s the past and we needed to concentrate on this game” or “We just take it one game at a time.”
That was not the case for Green coach Tracy Miller or his players after the Bulldogs thumped Tallmadge 52-26 Wednesday night in a Suburban League game at the Dog Pound.
After the Bulldogs lost 46-45 at Tallmadge on Dec. 10, Miller would not let players forget what happened.
“Last game we played them we came out flat and this time we hustled more, got to loose balls first and everyone worked really hard,” said senior Lydia Corle, who led the Bulldogs (10-4, 8-2) with 17 points and 12 rebounds, eight on the offensive glass.
Erica Rector said the players could not forget what happened at Tallmadge especially when they were constantly reminded about it.
“Coach has been talking to us about this game every day in practice. It was definitely revenge,” Rector said
Miller, who is in his first season at Green after coaching at Archbishop Hoban, had a big grin on his face when asked if revenge was an important factor.
“This game has been circled on our calendar since we lost,” Miller said. “We went over there and played sloppy and did not play very good defense. That was on our kids’ minds.”
The Bulldogs went to a full-court press and disrupted and rattled the Blue Devils from the start, forcing eight turnovers in the first quarter and jumping out to an 8-0 lead on their way to a 20-8 advantage by the end of the first quarter.
By halftime, the Bulldogs led 33-14 and did not allow the Blue Devils (10-5, 5-5) to score double digits in any quarter.
‘‘Green just kicked our butts. Normally, we handle it [pressure] pretty well,” Blue Devils coach Bill Johnson said. “They got all over us and we did not respond and we dug ourselves such a big hole.”
Defense is what Miller preaches and he believes the Bulldogs are starting to adjust to his philosophy and system.
“The kids are buying into our system — uptempo on offense and pressure defense. This is my first year and I am getting to know the players and they are getting to know me. Defensively we have been getting at it at practice,” Miller said. “We have no option; we are not very tall.
“Lydia is our biggest player and she is 5-9. This is how we have to play and our kids are starting to realize it.”
One recent change Miller has made to improve the offense is moving Rector, a junior who scored six points, from shooting guard to point guard.
Freshman Julia Guyton had 15 points, Lexi Teodosio scored eight points and Taylor Sadler grabbed eight rebounds.
“Taylor understands what we need her to do — be strong, be physical. She has really improved 100 percent,” Miller said. “The kids all feed off of Lydia.”
Mary Ryan was Tallmadge’s leading scorer with nine points.
The Bulldogs turn their attention to Saturday when they host Wadsworth, which gave them their other loss in the league.
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