Third-quarter scoring drought dooms Bison girls
IMPERIAL --The McCook High School girls are probably still trying to find out who snuck out at halftime and nailed a lid on their basket at Chase County High School gym Thursday evening.
The Bison girls went without a point for more than 12 minutes in the second half as Chase County beat McCook 40-25. Thursday's game was the season-opener for both varsity teams.
First-year McCook head coach Jeff Ellis watched his inexperienced team fall behind by a double-digit margin midway through the second quarter. But the Bison rallied to cut the deficit to 26-21 at intermission.
"In the second quarter our defense played well, and they clawed their way back into it, and that's what it was -- they stepped up aggressively, they were going after the ball, they were attacking things in the second quarter," Coach Ellis said. "So heading into the locker room at halftime, I felt pretty comfortable. We were down five points is all. I was telling the girls,'That's great momentum going into halftime.' And, just unfortunately, we came out the second half and just didn't play very well."
McCook didn't score a point in the third quarter, as the Longhorns stretched their lead to 30-21. The Bison didn't score again until Adrian Lambing's bucket from the baseline with just over three minutes left in the game. Chase County was having its own struggles, as the Longhorns had only scored 32 points before Lambing's shot. The hosts then scored eight straight points, including four by Lexie Reichert, to put the game away.
Inexperienced McCook squad
Ellis had no starters back from last season. His inexperienced team struggled against an unfamiliar Chase County zone defense in the third quarter.
"It was tough," Ellis said of the third period. "That's what we talked about in the locker room -- whoever comes out this second half being the aggressor, being physical, that's probably going to be the team that comes out on top."
"Unfortunately we came out and we struggled in the third quarter. Then we just got ourselves in a bigger hole and that was tough to dig out of.
"They were playing a different zone on us that we haven't had much reps against (in early season drills). That's one thing we knew coming into this is we were going to struggle a little bit offensively. We've got a lot of work to do offensively.
"We've got to change some things and be a little bit more aggressive with our approach to attacking a zone, and moving the zone, getting that ball moved around so that zone's moving so we can find some better openings in the zone."
Lambing led McCook with 7 points. Gretchen Sehnert, Kelsey Pohl and Emmilyne Nichols had 4 points each. Laura Brooks, Morgan Schaeffer and Brooklyn Trew scored 2 points each.
Chase County was led by Reichert with 22 points. Shannow Liewer had 6 points, with Chantel Heathers and Karlee Palmer scoring 5 points apiece and Alexis Tropf with 2 points.
Pohl had 6 steals and Morgan Schaeffer grabbed 8 rebounds with 2 blocked shots.
Tough road test Saturday
McCook has a tough test Saturday with a vist to Grand Island Northwest. The varsity contest will open at 2:45 p.m. following junior varsity action.
"They're going to be real tough," Ellis said of Northwest. "They've got a lot of size that we're going to have to deal with. It's going to be a tough one.
"So (Friday) in practice we've got to try and clean up as many things as we can, keep the girls up beat, tell them to keep their heads up and go after another tough one on the road Saturday."
McCook girls 7 14 0 4 -- 25
Chase County 13 13 4 11 -- 40