Coach Tracy Anderson couldn’t help but get frustrated.
She had Augusta’s girls basketball team work through 5-on-7 drills to prepare for Circle’s pressure defense. But the Orioles still couldn’t get out of trouble during the second quarter of Tuesday’s game at Circle.
The Thunderbirds made six steals and forced 13 turnovers in all during the quarter. They scored a pair of layups off inbounds passes and thwarted the Orioles just about every time they tried to advance the ball. Circle forced a multitude of turnovers all night on way to a 54-29 victory. Augusta drops to 0-3 on the season.
“I knew they were going to 2-2-1 press us...They do a really good job of running it,” Anderson said. “...It’s something we work on every day, ball control and taking care of the ball. We’re not very confident with the ball in our hands. And until we have a point guard emerge, we’re going to struggle with that.”
The Orioles scored just three points in the quarter after having one of their best quarter so far this season in the first. Casady Marlnee had five points and two assists to help the Orioles build an early 9-6 lead.
The Thunderbirds’ defense seized control in the second with their press and scored 10 points off turnovers for a 25-12 halftime lead. Katelynn Wilson and Talia Highbarger both hit a 3-pointer in the third quarter as Circle extended its lead to as many as 22 points.
Madie Becker and Marlnee found a little bit of success on offense coming off screens and finding each other in the post. Becker scored all three of her field goals in the third quarter, two of them on passes from Marlnee.
Taylor Childers had 11 rebounds for the Orioles.
Hope Travaille chipped in with five points and made some tough rebounds in the second half.
Highbarger finished with a Circle team-high 12 points.
Augusta will host Andale Friday night.