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WIMBLEDON â It's often said that good defense in basketball can lead to good offense.
Thursday at home against New Rockford-Sheyenne, the Barnes County North girls basketball team learned that the hard way losing 64-28.
From the moment the Bison first touched the ball, the Rockets shut them down with a man-to-man pressure defense that never let up.
"That was one thing we've struggled with this year is a full-court man," BCN coach Randy Hooey said. "The ball pressure absolutely took us out of the game,"
The pressure was started tight, kept tight, and resulted in plenty of steals that led to fast breaks for the Rockets. When BCN had chances to break it, the Bison threw away numerous passes.
Once the ball was into a half-court scenario, NRS played tight inside the paint and kept the Bison from working it into the post.
"We've got good posts if we can get them the ball. If we can't get them the ball, things get tough," Hooey said.
Tough may have been an understatement.
In the first two minutes, the Rockets opened the game up with a 6-0 run based around steals and second chances from rebounds.
With 5:18 left in the first quarter, BCN got its first basket on a layup by Sydney Reimers, but then didn't score again for three more minutes.
By the time Lauren McMillan hit a mid-range shot with 2:15 left, it narrowed the Rockets' lead to 16-4.
McMillan hit another shot with 1:40 left in the quarter and BCN trailed 20-6 at the end of the quarter.
The struggles got worse in the second quarter, in which the Bison only scored two points on a lay up by Reimers just over a minute in.
The rest of the quarter, the Bison missed shots, but, more importantly, just gave up the ball. NRS led 35-8 at halftime.
Hooey said his team expected NRS to be tough, but part of the problem was a lack of emotion from his team early in the game.
"We've got to play with more emotion," he said. "If we don't have the emotion, games are going to be tough for us. We can't just go through the motions of everything."
The Bison fared better in the second half and were outscored only 28-20.
NRS kept the pressure up throughout the game and took a game-high 40-point lead when Katie Gisi hit a layup with 3:10 left in the game to make it 62-22.
Reimers led BCN with 10 points and McMillan had seven.
New Rockford-Sheyenne was led in scoring by Cassidy Weber with 19 points, Rachel Allmaras had 12 and Katie Jo Demaster had 11.
The Bison play Saturday against Maple Valley and Hooey said coming out of the loss, senior leadership would be important against the Raiders.
"We need to have senior leadership to pick us up and if we can have that, things are going to go well but if we come out flat we're going to know why," he said.