Atchison County Community High School sophomore Natalie Nitz dribbles past a McLouth defender Friday night in Effingham.

Atchison County Community High School toughed out a gritty game for a 45-34 win over McLouth Friday night at home.

Tiger sophomore Natalie Nitz led the way tying her career-high with 18-points and six threes on the night.

“She’s one of the best defenders and three point shooters in the league and she showed that tonight,” ACCHS coach Austin Eckert said. “Every time she was open it went in.”

Nitz was pleased to have a game like this season after not playing up to her standards thus far this season.

“It was great to have that game because I haven’t been shooting the ball like I want to,” Nitz said. “I wouldn’t have gotten those threes if it wasn’t for my girls screening me.”

The Bulldogs (0-6) gave the Tigers all they could handle most of the night including pulling within 30-27 late in the third quarter.

Eckert gave credit to McLouth and also said his team maybe came out a little lackluster after a close win against Jefferson County North the previous night.

“They are a pretty tough defensive team and they take away what you want to do,” Eckert said. “We were maybe a little too relaxed at the beginning.”

Eckert also said his team’s tendency to get into foul trouble gave them issues.

“We have to do a better job on defense without fouling,” Eckert said. “It’s hard to get into a flow on offense with foul trouble.”

The Tigers (6-2) had to adjust to a zone most of the game which Eckert simply said isn’t their strength.

“We are not a great zone defense and I don’t like to play zone defense,” Eckert said. “When you are in foul trouble sometimes you have to play zone and we don’t usually give up those shots in our man-to-man defense.”

Nitz said they for sure weren’t playing up to their level on the defensive end.

“We were definitely standing up most of the night,” Nitz said. “They were getting shots they shouldn’t have and we weren’t working as hard as we could’ve.”

Sophomore Addison Schletzbaum was second in scoring for the Tigers with 11.

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