Prep Girls Basketball

Sluggish shooting sinks sectional hopes for Hornets

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Feb. 13, 2018 12:10 am Updated: Feb. 13, 2018 9:45 am

BUSHNELL, Ill. -- Maybe the Brown County girls basketball team should have used its full-court press earlier in the game.

Maybe the Hornets should have tried a couple of different defenses on Princeville's Lucy Waid, who had 18 points and 18 rebounds.

Not much could have been done, however, to overcome a frigid shooting night as Brown County lost 64-39 in the semifinals of the Class 1A sectional at Bushnell-Prairie City.

The Hornets missed 44 of 55 shots. In the second half, they missed 22 of 25 shots.

"Whether it was 2 feet or 22 feet, we just couldn't get anything to fall," Hornets coach David Phelps said. "We generally shoot pretty well."

Part of the problem was Waid, a 6-foot-1 senior who seemed to contest most of the Hornets' shots in the paint. Take away Mariah Markert's 4-for-6 performance from the field, and the rest of the team combined to make 7 of 49 shots (14 percent).

"(Waid is) so physical, and we didn't match it," Phelps said. "We haven't played anybody this year with that kind of physicality. We have two big players, but they don't have the same kind of fire that that girl has."

A 3-pointer by Ally Heldt gave the Hornets their last lead of the game at 5-3 in the first quarter. Princeville (30-4) responded by scoring 10 straight points.

A layup by Alexis Doyle got Brown County within 15-11 on the first possession of the second quarter, but the Lady Princes scored 12 of the next 14 points.

Brown County tried a combination man-to-man/zone defense in an attempt to keep Waid in check, but she had 14 points and 12 rebounds in the first half. She also got help from role players like Brinlee Bauman and Melissa Martin, who combined for 25 points as they took advantage of the focus on Waid.

"That's our whole key," Lady Princes coach John Gross said. "You can't give any of those kids something wide open, because they'll hit it."

The Hornets tried to limit Waid's effectiveness under the basket by going to a full-court press in the second half. Waid scored just one basket in the final two quarters, and Princeville turned the ball over 12 times. The Hornets also made all 13 of their free throws in the second half.

However, Brown County missed its first 13 shots after halftime and also turned the ball over 12 times. The Lady Princes scored the first 10 points of the third quarter to push the lead to 24 points.

Brown County never got closer than 18 points the rest of the way.

"Our goal was to score with the clock stopped in the second half," Phelps said. "We talked about playing with a reckless abandon. It's not something we do bell to bell. We try to spot it when we can. Had we started in the press, things might have been different, but I don't know if we would have been 20 points closer.

"The lead was just too big."

"We could have pressed earlier, and it might have been a closer game, but it's a risk," Doyle said.

Brown County, which was playing in a sectional for the first time since 1998, finished its season with a 20-12 record. Talking to his team afterward wasn't easy for Phelps.

"I've been doing this a while, and that speech always is tough," he said. "It's better to do it in a sectional than a regional. It's hard to say goodbye to five seniors, but it's easier because we accomplished two of our three goals -- 20 victories, win a regional and win our conference."

Doyle, who led the Hornets with 13 points, still had a smile on her face afterward.

"You never know when it's your last game, so you have to give it your all, no matter what," she said. "It's tough to go in (the locker room). My last year of playing was my best year, but knowing now that it's my last game, it's really hard."


Princeville 64, Brown County 39


Doyle 5-18 3-3 13, Heldt 1-8 6-6 9, Markert 4-6 1-1 9, Ingram 0-5 0-0 0, Moorman 0-4 0-0 0, Koch 0-5 4-4 4, Blentlinger 1-6 2-2 4, Gooding 0-1 0-0 0, Alsup 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 11-55 16-16 39.


Pullen 3-9 2-4 9, Horton-Mesa 2-6 4-4 10, Waid 7-14 4-8 18, Bauman 5-15 0-0 14, Martin 5-9 0-0 11, Lane 1-4 0-0 2, Baird 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-57 10-16 64.

Brown County 9 11 6 13--39

Princeville 15 19 15 15--64

3-point field goals--Princeville 8-20 (Bauman 4-7, Horton-Mesa 2-4, Pullen 1-3, Martin 1-5, Lane 0-1), Brown County 1-12 (Heldt 1-5, Blentlinger 0-3, Koch 0-2, Gooding 0-1, Doyle 0-1). Rebounds--Princeville 47 (Waid 18), Brown County 36 (Markert 10). Turnovers--Brown County 21, Princeville 17. Fouls--Princeville 16, Brown County 14. Fouled out--None. Officials--Brian Daniel, Jay McDaniels, Mark Gerlach.


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