According to Fort Osage girls basketball coach Dawn Williams, the Indians “go through phases” of running the floor well.
Friday night’s 69-29 non-conference win over visiting Winnetonka was one of those times when the Indians excelled at it.
“We’re fairly athletic and we wanted to make it an up-and-down game, and I thought we did that tonight,” she said.
Players who benefited from Fort Osage’s up-tempo game included Paige Bunn, Asia Cole and Raven Bunn. Paige Bunn, a sophomore guard/forward, led Fort Osage (6-4) with a personal-best 22 points. Cole and Raven Bunn, both seniors, put in 13 and 12 points, respectively.
“I felt like we had a great game,” the younger Bunn said. “We had good passes. (It was a) good team win.”
But the Indians didn’t play perfect up-tempo basketball Friday, Williams suggested.
“The biggest thing we’ve got to do, we’ve got to play fast without fouling,” she said. “Early, we tried to play fast and all we did was foul.”
Fort Osage committed 12 first-half fouls, including seven during the first quarter. Winnetonka shot eight first-quarter free throws, making just two.
Those two foul shots were the Griffins’ only first-quarter points. Sparked by its up-tempo game, Fort Osage opened with an 8-0 run and led 24-2 at quarter’s end.
One reason the Indians didn’t allow a field goal was they “came out with a lot of energy,” Cole said.
“I feel like we were very active and we talked a lot with everybody,” she said. “I feel like we were very aggressive with our offense because we were able to score, and we were also able to make sure that they didn’t score anything.”
The Indians edged the Griffins 19-16 the second quarter to lead 43-18 at halftime. Sparked by Paige Bunn’s eight third-quarter points, they outscored Winnetonka 18-6 to lead 61-24 entering the final quarter. They then outscored the Griffins 8-5 to cap what Cole considered a breakthrough week.
“This week really put ... (it) in our heads how strong of a team we are and how far we can go this season,” Cole said.
Williams considered it an encouraging week. She attributed the Indians’ performances this week to their practices over the holiday break.
“We played four or five games before Christmas, and then, we kind of could tell where we needed to (improve),” she said. “And so, we really worked on specific things at Christmas, and I think that helped.”