Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bow Girls Over Inter-Lakes in Thrilling Tourney Game

If girls hoop fans around the state don't know the name Lindsey Nerbonne they sure as heck will now. The 5'6" sophomore point guard put on a clinic this evening, tallying 21 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. Most importantly she led the Bow High girls basketball team to a nail-biting 51-49 win.

Angie Michalski was also exceptional in this game for Inter-Lakes, finishing with a game-high 30 points and 11 rebounds. Bow gets the win though in the Division III girls basketball tournament at home on Wednesday night.

Here are the game's highlights, plus a post-game interview with Nerbonne and the game's complete recap.

Nerbonne With Big Game
Nerbonne did it all for Bow in this game. Inter-Lakes simply had no answer for her dribble penetration. She was able to use crafty moves and hesitation dribbles to slice through the Laker defense en route to the basket. Often times the help defense for Inter-Lakes was late getting there, and Nerbonne got some easy ones. What wasn't easy was getting by her man. Fellow sophomore guard Marissa Merrill was matched up with her all game. It was a great match-up to watch - the athleticism of Merrill vs. the craftiness of Nerbonne. And while Merrill played a very solid game in her own right, anyone who was in the gym for this one would tell you that Nerbonne won the match-up. She also made some great passes on the break, tough rebounds and nice defensive plays. Nerbonne also made a nice turnaround shot inside which was a very difficult shot because her body wasn't even square to the basket and she could barely even see the hoop. She was still able to bank it in off the glass and make it a 2 possession game.

"She's a top 5 player in this division, no question" said Bow head coach Bill Vermette. She is underrated around the state because she hasn't played much AAU ball, instead playing tennis or lacrosse. Sometimes we forget that she's only a sophomore, though. She's a special talent."

Michalski Was Equally Impressive for Lakers
While Inter-Lakes had no answer for Nerbonne's dribble penetration, Bow had no answer for Michalski's combination of size, strength and skill. The 5'11" senior definitely looked like a college-ready ballplayer out there. She was able to face up from the perimeter and knock down the three as well as put the ball on the floor, go by her defender and finish at the rim against contact. When she was met by a help side defender in the paint, Michalski also showed a nice spin move and make the shot with either hand off of it. She's a very tough match-up. You can bet it would have been a different game if the versatile 6'0" senior forward Maggie Crisman was able to play in this game for Bow. But Crisman is out for the year with a foot injury which has sidelined her for the majority of the season. Michalski went over 1,000 points in her career on Wednesday night. However she played at the Holderness School for 2 years, and the NHIAA doesn't allow points scored in prep school to carry over. Congratulations, regardless!

Offensive Boards were Key for Falcons
You had to be impressed with the effort Bow put forth on the offensive glass in this game. They were all over the boards, and they got a ton of their points off of offensive rebounds. Nerbonne, Suzanne Barry, Kendra Toellner, Jill Chergey and Dina Tischoffer all did a nice job, as Bow took advantage of the size advantage they had over Inter-Lakes in this game.

Thrilling Finish
Bow led 34-22 in this game early on in the 3rd quarter. It seemed like they were in complete control, as not only was Nerbonne running the show but Savanna Stanley was hitting shots and their bigs were grabbing boards. Then the momentum slowly shifted to the Inter-Lakes side of the floor. The Lakers ended the quarter on a 19-6 run and led 41-40 heading to the 4th quarter. Allison Brown hit a 15 foot jump shot from the left side with just 3 seconds left in the quarter to give them their first lead since the 1st quarter.

"I'm proud of our team" said Inter-Lakes head coach Mike Gallagher. "It shows character for us to come back from down 12 to take a 1 point lead. I have no complaints."

The 4th quarter went back-and-forth with multiple lead changes and no team having more than a 1 possession lead. Nerbonne's nifty shot inside made it 48-43. The Lakers came right back though, and it was 50-47 Bow with 1:30 left to play. We were going right down to the wire!

Bow then missed the front end of back-to-back 1-and-1 opportunities, which opened the door for Inter-Lakes to possibly win it at the end. With 10.3 seconds left, Inter-Lakes had the ball, trailing 50-49. Merrill found Michalski inside with a nice pass. Michalski had a got look inside but missed the shot. However she was pushed from behind pretty hard by a Falcons defender and fell to the ground injured. No foul was called however! The only foul called on the play was on Inter-Lakes! After the Michalski miss, Bow grabbed the rebound and Inter-Lakes fouled them. Game over.

Tough way for it to end for Inter-Lakes, as Michalski would have gone to the line for 2 with a chance to either tie the game or win it. On the other end though on Bow's previous possession, Bow was trying to run clock, Nerbonne had the ball and the Inter-Lakes guards were all over her. It looked like a foul could have easily been called there, which would have put Nerbonne at the line for a 1-and-1. Instead the officials called a 5 second violation on one possession and a jump ball on another. So 2 turnovers and 2 1-and-1 front ends missed in the last minute for Bow. Plus the foul on Michalski which wasn't called. I suppose they're lucky to come out of this game with a win!

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