Lady Bobcats foul out, bow out at Bishop Ward
For the first time in a long time the BLHS girls basketball team felt confident it could move on to the second round of Sub-state.
But the Lady Bobcats fell short of accomplishing that Tuesday night, losing to Bishop Ward, a team they had already beaten this season.
The Lady 'Cats started the game they way they wanted to and jumped out to an early 11-3 lead, but a turnover-riddled game prevented them from getting into a good flow. The Lady 'Cats turned the ball over 17 times, not a credit to Bishop Ward's defense, but a lack of focus on their own part.
"We should've moved on further," senior Morgan Kenney said. "It was our first real chance to move on and now we're done."
There was just something missing from a usually up-tempo, quick -paced offense. Whether it was the jump in their step, or a lack of ball control, the Bobcats handed over the game to Bishop Ward.
"Everybody has off nights, and we just had an off night," coach Mardy Robinson said. "Even though it was an off night for us, we fought through and stayed in it until the end."
Freshman Brooke Sanders scored 13 points and went 6-for-8 from the free throw line. Sanders and the Lady Bobcats became frustrated when Bishop Ward began to run the clock out, only up by four with under three minutes remaining.
"They decided to slow down the game, tried to get us to foul, and it worked," Robinson said. "I might have done the same thing if the situation was reversed."
Bishop Ward's plan almost back- fired when another freshman, Michelle Chrisman hit for three of her nine points with 1:24 remaining in the game. But Bishop Ward was red hot from the free-throw line and put the game out of reach.
"Foul trouble and putting them on the free throw line just upset the whole momentum of the game," Robinson said.
Fouls killed the Bobcats Tuesday night, as they gave up 26 points on free throws alone, and shot just 15-for-24 themselves.
"They only went on two good runs, at the beginning of the third and the end of the fourth," Robinson said. "We just weren't able to stop their momentum."
In the last game of their careers, seniors Sammy Paterson and Kenney both went without a field goal. That was just the kind of night it was for the pair. Paterson finished with three points, and Kenney with one.
"I'm really proud of our team," Paterson said. "I just wish we could've won this one."
But after all the tears were wiped away no one could deny that this was the best season the Lady Bobcats have had in a long time.
After starting the season 3-8, the resilient Bobcats finished the season 7-3, and mixed in a six-game winning streak. But the girls didn't take much comfort in that and for 15 emotional basketball players, it was a tough bus ride home.