Girls basketball: Tigers win family affairIn 16 seasons at Ellsworth (Wis.) Dave Berg has emphasized the importance of pressure defense and fast break offense while guiding the Lady Panthers to conference championships, regional championships a section championship and a state tournament appearance.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
In 16 seasons at Ellsworth (Wis.) Dave Berg has emphasized the importance of pressure defense and fast break offense while guiding the Lady Panthers to conference championships, regional championships a section championship and a state tournament appearance.
His son, Farmington head coach Jason Berg, was paying attention. The younger Berg used those same coaching philosophies to lead the Tigers to a 54-43 win over Ellsworth last Wednesday afternoon at Tiger Gym.
“We spend a lot of time talking about basketball and different philosophies. He is the one who really got me hooked on trying to play up tempo, and using defense to create offense,” said Berg, a 1989 Ellsworth grad who spent time on the bench while his father was coaching the Lady Panthers to second place at the state tournament. “His state tournament team was one of the best fast breaking teams I have ever seen.”
Farmington used the fast break to get back into Wednesday’s non-conference game. It was 21-11 Ellsworth before the Tigers turned steals into a string of easy baskets that added up to a 19-7 run and a 30-28 halftime advantage.
“We missed some really easy shots early and they knocked down some threes off dribble penetration,” Berg said. “Once we controlled the dribble they struggled to get shots. Our press got us going in our run, we scored six straight points a couple different times and that took us from being down 10 to being up.”
The Lady Panthers continued to struggle after the break, scoring just two points in the first nine minutes of the second half. They finished just 14 of 43 from the field with 24 turnovers.
“Our kids really dug in and made it very difficult for them to get a good look, let alone score,” Berg said. “Once we stopped giving them second shots they really struggled to score.”
The Tigers picked up their third straight win despite shooting just 37 percent from the field. Sophomore guard Paige Steele dropped in a season-high 11 points, Taylor Meyer and Jamie Kenealy each scored nine points and Elena Koch and Lauren McHenry each chipped in six points.
Koch led the team with eight rebounds and McHenry handed out four assists.
The Tigers (4-3) play again tonight when they host Rochester Century (5-5). Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. at Tiger Gym.