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Taking a look at one of the best teams in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, the Defiance College women’s basketball team suffered a tough 75-45 loss to Hanover inside the Weaner Center.

Hanover made 11 of 17 shots in the opening period and shot 45.2 percent in the game.

“Not playing any defense against the best team in the league is a really bad idea,” said Defiance coach Allan King, Jr. “We let them, in the first quarter, do exactly what they wanted to do. When you leave people open, it becomes a tough basketball game (to win). When you leave really good shooters open, it becomes impossible.”

Defiance led 4-2 after a pair of free throws from Taylor Day, but the rest of the afternoon belonged to the Panthers. Hanover went on an 18-0 run and was never challenged the rest of the game.

Reigning HCAC player of the year Alexis Nall had a big part of the run. She knocked down a triple after Katie Hartman hit a pair, then ended the run with five points. She had 12 of her game-high 20 points in the opening period.

“She’s the best player in the league,” the Defiance coach said of the Hanover senior. “The best thing about her is she’s the best player and the hardest-working player in the league. She’s a skilled young woman who plays extremely hard.”

The Hanover pressure also caused problems for the Yellow Jackets. Hanover forced Defiance into 22 turnovers, which the Panthers turned into 32 points.

“We’re going to continue to see the press the rest of the year,” said King. “They are really good at it. We didn’t do anything versus it. I’ll give them all the credit. They took us out of what we wanted to do.”

The Panthers also had their way inside, scoring 36 points in the paint.

Day led the way for Defiance with nine points.

Sarah Harris, a Tinora grad, came off the bench in the fourth quarter and hit a trey for the Yellow Jackets.

The Defiance women’s basketball team is back in action Monday, visiting Hiram in a non-conference tilt.

“The best thing for us is to go practice right now,” admitted King. “We’ll have to come back and practice (Sunday) and get ourselves right.

“We’ve talked about a bad possession not becoming the next possession. It’s the same way with games. We played a really bad game. Give Hanover credit, they are a really good team and good teams make you play worse when you are already playing bad. We can’t allow ourselves to play a second bad game in a row.”

Hanover is now 4-3 overall and 3-0 in the HCAC. Defiance fell to 2-5 and 2-1.

HANOVER (75) – Mills 5; Hartman 9; Nall 20; Todd 5; Courtney 10; Welsh 3; Summerville 1; Ward 7; Norman 2; Blume 6; Butler 0; Tynan 0; Wilder 5; McCloskey 0; Bauer 2. Totals 28-62 12-18 75.

DEFIANCE (45) – Pickens 0; Day 9; Wolf 4; Speed 2; Carruthers 4; Sims 6; Martin 0; Roberts 0; Sparks 2; Criblez 0; Francis 2; Steinbrunner 5; Blanton 6; Harris 3; Gilliam 0; Townley 2. Totals 17-52 8-10 45.

Three-point goals: Hanover 7-14 (Hartman 3, Nall 2, Todd, Welsh). Defiance 3-16 (Steinbrunner, Blanton, Harris). Rebounds: Hanover 41 (Nall 9), Defiance 30 (Wolf 6). Turnovers: Hanover 14, Defiance 22.

Hanover 24 17 19 15 – 75

Defiance 6 12 10 17 — 45

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