John Gibson was looking to speed up the pace of the game.
By switching to a 1-3-1 trap defense, the Baylor School girls' coach not only quickened the pace but also hastened the outcome of the game, a 62-32 win for his team Thursday in the Times Free Press Best of Preps basketball tournament at Chattanooga State.
The Lady Red Raiders' offense fed off forced turnovers by the defense, going from a tie game with Signal Mountain early in the second quarter to taking command by halftime.
Baylor continued to pull away as the second half began, opening the third quarter on a 8-0 run and cruising to victory. Abby Hubert scored 15 points and Skyla Looper added 11 for Baylor, which will play Heritage tonight at 7 in a semifinal. Signal Mountain faces Tyner at 1 in a consolation game.
"We didn't come out playing as well as I had hoped, so we just wanted to get some kind of spark," Gibson said. "I thought the defense really gave us that spark on the other end of the floor, and we were able to get in a good rhythm."
Baylor's depth also took its toll on the Lady Eagles. The Red Raiders often substituted five for five, keeping fresh legs on the floor and continuing to come at Signal Mountain in waves of swarming hands.
"They wore us down, no doubt," Signal coach Jason Hill said. "We didn't follow our game plan very well. We prepared them for Baylor scoring in streaks and told them we can't allow one bucket to become three of four unanswered. But that's what happened.
"We handled their full-court pressure a lot better than that 1-3-1. We just didn't have an answer for that."
Contact Stephen Hargis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6293.