Monday, November 28, 2011

Defense is name of the game for 2011-12 Lady Eagle basketball

  We can talk all day about the interior and perimeter options the Hobbs girls basketball team has, but when it comes down to it, the Lady Eagles are going to be about defense this season – which showed in its home opening 61-49 win over Odessa Permian on Monday at Tasker Arena.
  Hobbs coach Johnny Casaus figured out his team wasn't going to be able to run with the athletic Lady Panthers as Hobbs held a slim 33-31 lead heading into the half. The up-tempo pace favored Permian, despite the deficit, as Hobbs had 18 first-half turnovers and struggled at times to even move the ball up court.
  In the second half Hobbs went to a half-court defense and it put cement in Permian's sneakers. At one point Hobbs held the Lady Panthers over 8 minutes without a point and over 12 minutes without a field goal in the second half while holding Permian to 18 second-half points.
  It's early in the season and it's tough to make any assumptions after two games, but outside of sophomore post Danielle Patterson, the Lady Eagles aren't likely going to have a consistent double-digit scorer. The 5-foot-9 Patterson is tough for opposing teams to handle in the paint because she can score with either hand and she is SO aggressive. She's either going to score or get to the free-throw line.
  Sure, Hobbs is deep and several players have the capability of scoring double figures. But not on a consistent basis. It's a formula that works for the most part unless everyone goes cold (see: Hobbs' state semifinal loss to Mayfield last season).
  You could see it some Monday as the Lady Eagles had stretches where they were getting no offensive production (particularly when Patterson was out with foul trouble). Mackenzie Latimer stepped in and filled the role Monday, however, getting 16 points. The junior has the talent to be a double-digit contributor each night as she's one of the few Lady Eagles who can create her own shot, it is just a matter of consistency.
  Along with Hobbs' defense (which forced Permian to shoot below 30 percent from the field), the Lady Eagles dominated the glass. Hobbs outrebounded the Lady Panthers 42-23.
  The next couple weeks will tell us a lot more about this season's Lady Eagles, starting with a road trip Tuesday to play Amarillo Palo Duro, but like most Casaus teams, defense will be the team's defining trait.