Unlimited Fitness speeds up tempo, wins final game of Jayhawk Jamboree
Lawrence The Unlimited Fitness girls basketball team lost its first three games in the 2007 Jayhawk Jamboree. With one more game remaining Saturday, the girls from Tonganoxie motivated themselves via the big screen.
"We went to coach Graf's house before the game and watched "Stomp the Yard,'" senior guard Shannon Carlin said, referring to THS assistant basketball coach Lindsey Graf. "We were all like, 'Come on, we have to do this, guys.' Then in the van on the way here, we put music on and we were all screaming, yelling and singing. We were a lot more energetic this game."
Carlin scored 13 points in Unlimited Fitness' 67-54 victory against North Kansas City at the Kansas University Student Rec Center.
Unlimited Fitness controlled the pace of the game from the opening tip. Carlin and Tracie Hileman pushed the ball up the floor all game. The tempo was so quick at the start that Unlimited Fitness scored the first 11 points.
"When the other team got tired on defense, it was easier to just drive on them," Carlin said. "They would just give up or foul. When you get lazy, you're going to foul, so we just took it to them at that time."
Carlin created several fast-break opportunities on her own. She had three steals to go along with her six field goals and one free throw.
"Not only can she shoot from the outside, but she can really slash and she's so athletic that she's a good finisher," coach Brandon Parker said of Carlin. "When she does that, she's very hard to stop."
Post players contributed to the scoring as well. Unlimited Fitness scored the majority of its field goals from layups. Forward Elizabeth Baska had three layups in the first five minutes of the game. Roni and Roxi Grizzle established position in the paint for similar opportunities.
Rules in the tournament differed from the high school season. For instance, referees awarded one point to a team if it drew a foul. It didn't have to be in the act of shooting. In the event a player was fouled in the act of shooting and missed, her team was awarded one point and a free throw attempt.
"If you get in a close game and you're trying to foul, it really doesn't help you because it's just another point and they get the ball again," Parker said of the summer rules. "They'll never go to the foul line."
Unlimited Fitness dropped games earlier in the day against teams from Norman, Okla., Fort Osage (Mo.) and Marshfield (Mo.).
"There were other teams we probably could have played and won by 30, but you don't get anything out of that," Parker said. "When you play physical teams and teams that are really good, that can only help you, especially in the summer time when you're looking to improve. I don't think any of the kids wanted the easy road. They wanted to have that competition. That's going to do them better in the winter."
Unlimited Fitness will end its summer season this weekend in a tournament in Bonner Springs.