Heinen’s summer filled with Swoosh
Despite seeing her team's 19-game winning streak snapped, Allie Heinen was just happy that she and her teammates finally got to play in games that weren't decided early on.
"It was good to see some competition once again," she said of the Kansas City Swoosh's run to fifth place at the 11th- and 12th-grade girls national basketball tournament in Hutchinson. "We finally had a chance to see where we were at compared to everybody else. It was a lot of fun."
The Swoosh was so dominating defensively during its run that they just smothered the opposition. In fact, Heinen and company out-scored the opposition during that same time span by 873-413 (45.9-21.7).
The streak was snapped in the first pool game of the tournament for the Swoosh and by a familiar nemesis.
The McPherson Pups squeaked out a 32-31 win over the Swoosh after blowing them out 54-30 earlier in the year.
"The last time we played them we had been playing tougher teams than they were," Heinen said. "They were also hitting their threes. This time out we had our guards back. Plus, we just wanted to kill them after that last game."
The Swoosh led by one point late in the game against the Pups and decided to apply a press. The press is a rarely used part of the Swoosh's game, and it showed.
Once the press was applied Heinen was guarding one of McPherson's better players, so she couldn't slide off and help out. Meanwhile, a Pup slipped into a wide-open position under the basket.
The ensuing layup didn't allow the Swoosh much time to get a good look at the basket or get a shot off, for that matter.
The Swoosh lost to the tournaments eventual champion, the Kansas Dream Team, by a 38-32 margin in the semifinals, despite the Swoosh's ability to build an 8 to 10 point advantage earlier in the game.
Throughout the season the KC Swoosh won 36-of-40 games by playing solid defense and doing the little things that needed to be done. Heinen was an example by leading the team in rebounding with 194. She was especially effective on the defensive side of the court when she had 123 caroms.
Nobody on the team averaged in double figures and the team averaged just 45.3 points as a team.
Heinen was the fourth-leading scorer on the team average-wise with 7.6 points per game. Her 302 points were second only to Jessie Mainz's 305 tallies. Heinen was just one of a handful of players on the team who played in all 40 contests.
"It all just depended on who was hot," Heinen said of the player that might lead the Swoosh in scoring during any given game. "It also depended on who was guarding who and which team we were playing."
As a team, the Swoosh had an excellent assist-to-turnover ratio (452/277). A major factor in the team's ability to take care of the ball went back to the Swoosh's guard play.
"They were pretty heads up," Heinen said of the team's ball handlers. "They knew where to go. They knew where to throw the ball."