SUTTON — Few things make Sandy Creek girls basketball coach Russ Ninemire more happy than seeing his team put the clamps down defensively on an opposing team. The Cougars pride themselves on their man-to-man defense, the coach says.
But Thursday night, the veteran Sandy Creek coach had to reach into his bag of tricks to make a major adjustment and help spur his team to rally.
The Cougars rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit by switching into a triangle-and-two defense in the second half. The switch helped cool down cross-county rival Sutton, as Sandy Creek completed the rally to post a 45-38 overtime victory in front of a full-house crowd at the Sutton gymnasium.
"That was the tale of two (halves), wasn't it? We had to dig into our bag of tricks to try and change the pace, and I thought that gave us a little advantage. Then, we actually started making some buckets," Ninemire said. "In the first half, we just weren't doing what we needed to do, we weren't executing. We had to get back to playing with more power and playing with Sandy Creek pride."