SYCAMORE - When you are triplets, you are bound to get mixed up by others.
Old Fort had that problem Thursday night with Mohawk's Adelsperger triplets.
Heck, the Adelspergers themselves had trouble keeping themselves straight.
PHOTO BY KYLEHUNTER
Mohawk’s Clara Adelsperger puts up a shot while being defended by Old Fort’s Alli Adelsperger Thursday in Sycamore.
When Dan Weinandy did the pre-game introductions, he announced Kasey Adelsperger and it was Julie Adelsperger who sprinted off the bench.
It was the last of the confusion for the threesome as they and their teammates beat up Old Fort, 45-26, in Midland Athletic League action.
The trio combined for 36 points, 12 rebounds, seven steals, 10 assists and a block.
"We knew that Kasey Adelsperger, Julie Adelsperger, Clara Adelsperger are all good shooters and they're not the only ones. They have five or six girls shooting over 40 percent," Old Fort coach Jennifer Miller said.
It looked like it was going to be a blowout early on as Mohawk took a commanding 16-2 lead four and a half minutes into the game thanks to its swarming defense and size. Seven turnovers in that span led to 10 points for the Warriors (10-8, 5-4 MAL).
But the Stockaders (13-5, 4-2) mounted their own comeback, scoring 10 straight in the final two and a half minutes of the first quarter to make it, 16-12.
Mackenzie Ward, who led Old Fort with 10 points, scored a bucket 10 seconds into the second quarter to make it 16-14 but it was all downhill from there.
By the time Old Fort scored again, this time Ward making two free throws with 1:04 left in the quarter, Mohawk had run off 13 straight to lead 29-16.
"We just struggled to score (tonight) and when we've played the better half of our schedule, we've just struggled to score," Miller said. "We struggled to score and we struggled to have confidence."
Old Fort got it down to 11, 34-23, late in the third quarter but no closer the rest of the way.
"I think defensively, our kids played really well for almost the entire game," Mohawk coach Mike Beck said. "We had one brief start in the first quarter where we gave up some, but that was more off offensive turnovers and not getting our defense set up right away. Once we got our defense set, the two different zones that we played, I thought, were pretty effective."
Mohawk's size was a problem for Old Fort and not just on the glass, where the Warriors held a 28-15 advantage. It also mattered when it came to flustering the Old Fort shooters, as the Stockaders shot just 31 percent (9 for 29) from the field. Conversely, Mohawk was hitting at a 54 percent clip (19 for 35), aided in by scoring 23 points in transition.
"We talked about that we had that advantage. It makes quite a bit of difference when you're already bigger than them, taller and then you have the long reach so it's harder to shoot over," Beck said.
Miller was pleased with her team's defensive efforts.
"I'm not mad about our defense by any means. They only scored 45 points," Miller said. "Our press didn't work out in the very beginning of the game and we adjusted and dropped into the zone. When a team only scores 45 points and you force 24 turnovers, usually that's a game that you win, I feel like."
Both teams had 24 turnovers.
"Defensively, I thought the trapping was working really well," Beck said. "We got out of it because we were trying to decide if it was the defense or was it (our own) turnovers that led us to not get set up properly. They are very quick and very athletic off the dribble. There were spots at the end of the first quarter where they blew right by us. So that's why we went to the other zone (to slow them down)."
Kasey Adelsperger had 14 points, six rebounds and a block. Clara Adelsperger had 12 points and Julie Adelsperger had 10 points, six assists and four steals. Taylor McClain was held scoreless, but added six steals and six assists. Megan Cleveland had seven rebounds to pace Mohawk.
Jordan Magers scored eight points for Old Fort. Sam Hartsel had five rebounds to lead Old Fort.
Miller said her team is still growing and learning as it faces stiffer competition as the season goes on.
"What I told them tonight is when you go against teams that are equal or better than you, losing is not an absolute. It's all about your mentality going into the game. If you go in with your head down, shoulders down, you're already beat as soon as you walk on the floor," Miller said. "If you come in and take it at them. I mean, that's what you have to do. It doesn't matter who they are.
"That's something I learned in college playing against some really big girls. It doesn't matter who they are, you just have to take them at them," Miller said. "If you get the mentality to not be afraid to go against anybody, then good things come of it."