Having coached two 1,000-point scorers over the last three-plus years in twins Ashley Reiser and Amy Reiser, Antioch girls basketball coach Tim Borries thinks he's gotten pretty good at coming up with effective plays for his offense.
Defense, however, is a different story. Especially this season, since Antioch is a smaller team than usual.
Borries knew he needed some help coming up with a defense that would suit his personnel.
So he went out and brought in a new coach, someone he has coached AAU basketball with in the past, someone who has always been a defense-first kind of coach.
"I brought in Tim Bowen," Borries said. "And it's him (behind the defense). He does such a nice job with the defense and explaining to the girls exactly what they need to do."
Bowen, who has coached the boys teams at Grayslake Central, Carmel and Guerin, implemented a half-court trapping defense to complement Antioch's traditional full-court press. The results have been even better than expected.
On Friday, Antioch's half-court trap played a big role in forcing host Grant into 22 turnovers, many of which led to easy baskets for the Sequoits. Antioch cruised to a 64-46 Northern Lake County Conference victory over Grant.
"One thing about the trap is that teams don't really know what we're in," Ashley Reiser said. "I know personally I've never seen it before. Teams don't know if we're in a man or a zone and then we sprint to the ball and sometimes they don't even see it coming.
"I think some teams have been confused or overwhelmed by it. It's working pretty well for us. This defense is really boosting our offense."
Reiser led Antioch with a game-high 20 points. Her sister Amy added 15 points and Erika Gallimore also finished in double-figures with 10 points.
The Reisers twin have been putting up big numbers for Antioch since they were freshmen and brought up to varsity. Borries can't believe their careers are coming to an end soon.
"Coaching them has been so great," Borries said. "I've got the best seat in the house. They read each other so well. They play off each other so well. I just try not to over-coach them.
"It's just been a pleasure and an honor watching them. I got lucky they live in Antioch."
Antioch, which is 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference, rode its pressure defense to a 19-4 lead after the first quarter and was up 32-20 at halftime.
Grant made a mini-run early in the second half and cut its deficit to 8 points, but the Sequoits were back up by 13 points by the end of the third quarter.
"We started fighting back in that third quarter," Grant coach Chris Van Alstine said. "But what happens when you fight back, the other team fights, too. We need to be able to go back and forth."
Van Alstine is the head softball coach at Grant but is also now the head basketball coach on an interim basis. He took over the program when head coach Kathie Swanson left last month on a leave of absence for personal reasons.
"We've had some struggles as a team," said Grant junior forward Mallory Harrity, who scored a team-high 15 points. "But I feel like as a team, we've gotten closer because of it. We're getting through this as a team and working through it and it has pulled us together, and I think we can have a really good season."
Junior guard Kennedy Kiesgen added 12 points for Grant while sophomore guard Ally Mahinay had 7 points.