DANVILLE – Helter jumbled up.
This old Beatles song from the 1960s perhaps best describes the style of the 2021-22 version of the Danville High School girls’ basketball team.
Danville head coach Matt Morris devised a system to wreak havoc on the pitch, create turnovers from opponents and simply exhaust teams by sending wave after wave of players into the game every minute.
On Friday night, the Bears used their “helter skelter” system to overwhelm a young New London team, 62-19, in a South Division victory in the SEI Superconference at Danville High School.
It might not always be the prettiest to watch, but Morris’s system puts his team in a position to win games every night.
“You spend the offseason looking at the strengths of the kids, looking at your weaknesses,” Morris said. “I felt that one of our strengths going forward is that we have a lot of good athletes. We have a lot of depth. We don’t have Division I athletes and a lack of size. I thought that one things we have is a lot of athletics. We have a lot of experience. I loved our freshmen when they came in. It was a strength. So now as a coach I had to figure out how to play with that strength and hiding our weaknesses? This is one of the things we looked at was playing fast and using our depth as a strength and trying to hide some of our weaknesses.
Fast tempo, slow start
While the Bears (3-4 overall, 1-2 in the South Division) created the quick pace they wanted from Game 1, they couldn’t find an attacking pace.
The Bears led just 7-2 midway through the quarter before a Cassidy Yaley steal and Makenzie Morris layup that threw Danville on a 13-2 streak to end the quarter.
Danville forced 18 turnovers in the first eight minutes.
“We need to make our young players comfortable enough to play with the four upper class students we have now,” said New London freshman coach Terri Hester-Mathews. “We try to spin them around as much as we can. Can, but they’re still not comfortable and you can see it on the floor.
Bears have a lot of depth and athletes
Morris replaced in groups of five and used the 13 players who dressed for the game. Of these, nine scored.
Makenzie Morris led the way with 14 points, while Jaeda Molle added 10 points.
That depth, with little to no drop in talent and athleticism, allows Coach Morris to keep new players on the pitch for 32 minutes.
“We want to play fast. We have the ball in our hands and we want to go a hundred miles an hour, ”Morris said. “Sometimes we have to realize that once we have the ball in our hands we have to slow down a bit and regain control. Some of our young children are learning what it takes to play at the university level. There may be growing pains along the way.
“They were more aggressive than us and they took the win,” said Hester-Mathews. “It’s a little tough, but tonight it got a bit off the rails, I think. We have girls with big lips and a bruised rib and the wind blew her over.
Growing pains for both teams
Both teams struggled on the pitch and handling the ball. Both teams are full of freshmen and sophomores, so the experience they gain this season will prove invaluable on the road.
“We are a very young team. Lots of freshmen on this team, ”said Hester-Mathews. “But they give me 110 percent every day. Our blows do not fall. We haven’t taken good photos lately. We are just beaten. We are quite simply beaten.
“I like where we’re at with our pace and pace,” said Morris. We certainly learn a little more about ourselves with it. We are certainly looking to improve. When we start to shoot the ball better, I think we’ll be a dangerous team at the end of the year.
On the horizon
New London (0-10, 0-5) wraps up the first half of the season on Tuesday with a home game against Central Lee.
New London hosts Fort Madison at 6 p.m. Monday, then entertains WACO on Tuesday to close the 2021 portion of the program.
By the numbers
NEW LONDON (19)
Natalie Burden 1-5 1-5 3, Mylee Miller 4-7 0-0 8, Emma Nye 1-2 0-0 3, Camryn Lair 0-1 0-0 0, Sophie Malott 0-4 0-0 0, Olivia Hester 1-3 0-0 2, Morgan Jones 1-3 1-3 3, Jazzimen Pacheco 0-0 0-0 0, Isabelle Nye 0-1 0-0 0, Kayla Strawhacker 0-3 0-0 0, Lillie Gallup 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 8-29 2-8 19.
Jaeda Molle 4-7 2-4 10, Ava Smith 3-11 1-3 9, Graci Walker 2-7 0-0 4, Rylee Morris 1-8 2-4 5, Makenzie Morris 6-15 2-6 14, Elizabeth Smith 0-3 0-0 0, Abby Arnett 0-4 0-0 0, Cassidy Yaley 3-9 0-0 7, Kenna Furnald 3-12 0-2 8, Taylor Moore 1-5 0-0 3, Taegan Frazier 0-1 0-2 0, Reagan Henkelvig 0-0 0-0 0, Eastin Chipman 0-0 2-2 2. Totals: 23-82 9-23 62.
New London. 4. 5. 6 4. – 19
Danville. 20. 19. 14. 9. – 62
Fouls: New London 18, Danville 16. Crowd : Malot. Techniques : Gallup. 3-point goals: New London 1-4 (E.Nye 1-1, I.Nye 0-1, Malott 0-2), Danville 7-47 (A.Smith 2-7, Furnald 2-10, R.Morris 1-3, Yaley 1-5, Moore 1-5, Molle 0-2, Walker 0-3, E. Smith 0-3, Arnett 0-3, M. Morris 0-6).
Recordings: New London 0-10 overall (0-5 SEI Superconference Division South), Danville 3-4 (1-2).