Big Foot shuts down Turner

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Josh Flickinger/Beloit Daily News Beloit Turner's Marlee Young (10) defends Big Foot guard Reagan Courier during Monday's game.

WALWORTH, Wis. - Jennifer Njoo brought the Turner bench to her feet with a 3-pointer that found nothing but net with 8:44 to play in Monday night's game against Big Foot.

The trey, Njoo's fourth of the game, put Turner in front 34-32. It would be the last time the Trojans would have something to cheer about.

Big Foot closed the game on a 12-0 run to put away the Trojans and improve to 8-6 in Rock Valley Conference play and 9-9 overall.

Junior guard Reagan Courier, the conference's leading scorer, fought through constant foul trouble to score 14 points to lead the Chiefs, but it was lockdown defense down the stretch that was the difference in the game.

"The way we finished tonight was the opposite of what we've encountered recently, so that's great to see," Big Foot coach Michael Dowden said. "We've grown a lot as a team. We didn't take bad shots down the stretch. We were patient, we moved the ball around and as a result we got a layup, or we got to the free throw line. Kids are starting to buy into what we are saying."

A key portion of the final stretch came when Courier, the Chiefs' lone consistent offensive threat, exited the game with four fouls and nine minutes to play. When she re-entered the game with four minutes left, her team had held on to a 36-34 advantage.

"Our kids are starting to do what they are capable of doing," Courier said. "Reagan can do what she does. Sophia Foster can do what she does. They are both very capable at filling their role, they just do different things for us. The last couple of games, even though we didn't win, we are starting to play like that. Hopefully this is a win that propels us back to the way we were playing at the beginning of the year."

Sophomore Olivia Tinder matched Njoo with 12 points to lead the Trojans despite dealing with leg cramps and illness.

Turner coach Nick Faralli' said the offensive woes down the stretch were easy to diagnose.

"I thought Big Foot was much more aggressive than we were," Faralli said. "They were attacking the basket, and we were too content to pass the ball around the perimeter. I thought there were some times we had a chance to get the ball to Olivia and get her going downhill, or get the ball down to Marlee Young with her shoulders square to the basket, but we weren't able to do it."

The Trojans are in the midst of a brutal stretch. They've lost three straight games, and are staring down the barrel at three more road games in the next week.

Turner must travel to red-hot Evansville Tuesday night.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, host last-place Edgerton Thursday with thoughts of getting hot before the playoffs begin.

"This was a really big win for us," Courier said. "We've had a little losing streak and we needed this for our confidence. Nights like tonight, when I have to sit out for a while, it's great to know that I can count on my teammates to continue to play well."

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