FORT WAYNE – This is some ride Rod Parker is on these days with his Homestead girls basketball team, equal parts bullet train and Dramamine Special.
Wednesday night, for instance, there was the sublime seven-minute run when everything Sydney Buck put up went down, and the Spartans ran off 16 straight points to do the lions share of the work in a 52-38 home victory over Angola.
Then there was the six-minute stretch in the third quarter when Homestead couldnt buy a point with cash money and needed lockdown defense and no little resolve to finish the job.
Put it together and it spelled the first loss of the season for Angola (9-1) as Homestead improved to 8-1.
Yeah, this teams been really interesting, Parker said. With our youth weve had good runs where weve played very well, and weve had stints where we havent been very good. And that third quarter, unfortunately for us, was a stint where I didnt think we were very good for about four minutes.
But to my kids credit, they kept working hard, and they kept battling and they got out on top tonight.
For that, first of all, Homestead can thank the 16-0 burst that took the Spartans from 6-3 down with 5:56 to play in the first quarter to 19-6 up 30 seconds into the second. Buck was the primary instigator, scoring 13 of her game-high 23 points and hitting six shots in a row, including four straight three-pointers.
Then she missed her next 10 shots. Then she hit her last two shots and scored seven points in the fourth quarter.
An unusual night?
It sort of depends on the game, she said. Sometimes Im streaky, but normally Im pretty on.
As she went, so went the Spartans. Cruising into halftime with a 33-22 lead, they ran aground in the third quarter, scoring four points and going scoreless for 6:04. But a 9-0 run to start the fourth pumped the lead from 37-30 back to 46-30, and that was that as Angola scored just 16 points in the second half on 6-of-30 shooting.
In addition to Buck, Josie Fisher scored 11 points and took 10 rebounds and 6-foot freshman Lindley Kistler had 10 points and dominated the glass with 17 boards.
Rachel Rinehart led Angola with 14 points – 10 in the first half.
I thought we guarded it very well today, Parker said. I thought Savannah Buck did a really good job in the second half of forcing Rachel to her right and keeping her from getting to the basket.