Additional Quotes >> U.S. Women 33, Belarus 5
Kathy Richey-Walton, U.S. Women's Head Coach
Southwest DeKalb H.S., Ga.
Two games in a row, now, you've gotten out to huge leads quickly. Is that by design?
Yeah, that’s our goal. We don’t want to let the other team stick around too long. We just want to go ahead, get it done and make an early day of it. We don’t want it to get in their head that they can hang around with us. That’s one of our emphases right now.
What’s clicking so well right now?
Pretty much our guards are doing a real good job reading the other team, and they’re pressing their guards on defense. Our guards are extremely quick, and they’re starting to really understand the game and do on the defensive end what needs to be done to affect the opponent.
Is defense something you’ve emphasized, especially in a half-court game?
Well, we’re trying to maximize our possessions and minimize theirs. So once the ball goes up, we’re going to go get it, whether we’re on offense or defense. We really want to get every possession and limit their possessions. They’re starting to figure it out. It’s actually real simple, but we’re just trying to play hard and have fun.
What’s the approach, now, heading into the medal quarterfinals?
We’re going to try to get a little rest. The girls have worked hard. And we’ll see what our matchup is and just prepare for them. More importantly, they’re going to have to prepare for us. We’ll do what we do, and we’ll keep trying to do it a little bit better.
At this point, is the team playing the way you’d hoped it would be?
Yes it is. It’s about where we are. We’re not there yet, though. We still got some improvement, there are still a few things that we want to do. But coming out of the preliminary round, I like where we are now, but we haven’t ‘arrived’ yet. We haven’t gotten there yet. We still have some miscommunications, some things we need to get better at.
Trenton Catholic Academy / Willingboro, N.J.
Thoughts about today’s game:
It was, I don’t want to say easy, but it was fun. It was just fun. I don’t know what else to say.
Have you felt this good after a game yet during the tournament?
Actually, this is the second game. Tuesday’s game (a 33-6 win over Germany) was fun, too. That was fun. So it’s been two games straight that we’ve been having fun, and we’re just feeling the game more as a team.
What do you need to continue to do now through the medal rounds?
Just keep playing hard, playing harder than the other team, just continuing what we’re doing. And listening to Coach and doing what she says.
Do you think your coach is happy right now?
Yeah, I think she’s real happy. She said ‘That’s it for the day,’ and usually we have another practice every day. So I think she’s loving it right now.
Can you still improve?
Oh, yeah, there’s still room for improvement. There’s always room I say.
Sickles H.S. / Tampa, Fla.
Are you making a habit of these quick games?
Yeah. Now, we can kind of sense when teams are scared of us, and we feed off of that. Coach says, ‘We want to put them out of their misery quick.’ We just jump on them hard and quick, so we get the game over with.
Has the team really gotten comfortable over these last two games?
Yeah, our last two games, we really picked up on the rules a lot better and the game has had better flow to it. Kiah, she dominates in the low post. (Andraya) is like the regulator, she keeps our team together. (Briyona) can take anybody off the dribble. So we just have to do what we do. With USA basketball, one person doesn’t have to do it all. It’s all pretty even.
What do you have to do, now, to eventually win the gold medal?
We have to keep the intensity up and don’t get comfortable. We just have to use everything we have. Like, me and Kiah have kind of dominated these games so far with the scoring, so the other teams scouting us would just think we only have two big post players. But they haven’t really seen what (Briyona) and (Andraya) can do. We’ll have to pull that out in the medal rounds.