CRETE | When T.F. North girls basketball coach Tim Zasada told his players that from now on they would be increasing the defensive pressure on opponents, the Meteors did not shrink from the challenge.
According to junior guard Chardae Greenlee, they welcomed it.
The Meteors unveiled their new look -- a fullcourt press and man-to-man combination --against host Crete-Monee Wednesday night. The results were devastating.
T.F. North held the Warriors to one field goal in the third quarter while converting numerous scoring opportunities off turnovers and offensive rebounds en route to 73-45 nonconference victory.
"We got off to a bad start (in a loss to Mother McAuley), so we wanted to jump right at it this time," said Greenlee, who finished the night with four steals and eight points. "We find that we tend to do better when we press and get in their faces and get them frustrated."
The Meteors (6-6) used the defensive pressure to grab a 10-point lead at the half, then hit their stride in the third quarter. Chanel Howard converted a three-point play and sank a long 2-point shot as part of a run during which North outscored the Warriors 11-1. When Greenlee scored off a steal to complete the run, the Meteors went ahead 47-29. A Greenlee basket off an offensive rebound closed out the quarter with a 22-point lead.
"Our goal is to out-will the other team," Zasada said after the win. "We are going to be incredible shape because this is the style we are going to be playing now. We might get burned a few times, but we are not going to play scared."
Battle led all scorers Wednesday night with 18 points. Howard added 11 points for the Meteors and teammate Sabrina Montgomery contributed nine points and seven rebounds. The Warriors, which fell to 6-8 with the loss, were led by Ashley Henry and Morgayne Perry, who each scored eight points.
"Their defense rattled us," Warriors coach Danny Wafford said. "We are young in basketball. We have a couple of seniors, but we are still young, basketball-wise. We're learning, and we'll move forward."