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Seventh-graders stay perfect

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By Andrew Harner

The key to Vandalia seventh-grade girls basketball team’s fast 9-0 start is that coach Dana Kirk has a team that learns from every situation.

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“We just learn from every game and keep getting better and better every time we step out on the floor,” Kirk said. “We’re still making a lot of mistakes, but it’s still early in the season.”

One of the bigger mistakes Kirk has noticed thus far is that her team often plays at a high-tempo, even when it should be playing slower to run down the clock.

Led by shifty point guard Madelyn Hosick, who has scored 88 points this season, the Vandals offense showed their high-tempo and aggressiveness during a 40-32 win against Litchfield last Thursday night.

“She’s a very excited, very skilled player, and she takes care of the ball,” Kirk said of Hosick.

Late in the game, however, Kirk was urging Hosick and her team to ease their excitability and slow down their play to hold what was a narrow lead.

During practice this week, Kirk said tempo control will be emphasized.

“That’s what we talked about after the game, knowing situations,” Kirk said, “knowing when to stall and knowing when we want to go for it.”

Karlie Bright led the Vandals against Litchfield with 21 points. Hosick added eight.

It was the team’s defensive effort that gave them the leverage they needed to beat the Panthers, though.

Forcing numerous steals and holding Litchfield to just nine first-half points, the defense put the Vandals in position to win, just as Kirk expected it would.

“That’s part of our gameplan, to play on the ball with hustle defense,” Kirk said. “We just try to get as many steals as we can.

“Sometimes, we get into foul trouble playing that way.”

Such was the case against the Litchfield, which made several free throws in the last couple minutes to close the final tally to just eight.

Thursday, Oct. 14
vs. Litchfield
Vandals 40
Panthers 32

Scoring – Bright, 21 points; Hosick, 8 points; Makayla Tinker, 3 points; Haley Bigelow, 2 points; Spencer Craig, 2 points; Leah Francis, 2 points; Jalea Pasley, 2 points
Team Record – 9-0