Slow starts cost Lady Jaguars
Two sluggish starts led to two losses this week, the latter of the two sending the Mill Valley girls into the losers' bracket of the Basehor-Linwood Invitational.
St. Joseph-Benton stormed to a 32-6 halftime lead, which led to a 53-28 victory over the Lady Jaguars on Monday afternoon. The same scenario occurred last Friday at Tonganoxie, where Mill Valley hit only four first-half goals in a 44-26 road loss.
"That's been the whole season," said head coach Matt Bohm. "We take good shots. We're just not shooters. We get good open layups, but we miss our layups and if you miss your layups, you're not going to win very many games."
On Monday, St. Joseph-Benton used a zone and their size on the boards to cruise to a quick advantage.
The Jaguars were able to play solid in the second half, outscoring St. Joseph-Benton by one and even going on an 8-0 run to keep the margin respectable.
"I told the girls that it's amazing how we play in the second half when there is no pressure," Bohm said. "When the score is tight, they put so much on themselves. Once that pressure is alleviated, then they feel more comfortable playing and that was the difference in the game."
At Tonganoxie, neither team came out hitting shots as nearly three minutes elapsed before the Chieftains hit their first field goal. Mill Valley never responded until 1:49 left in the opening quarter when Tina Wiggins hit a basket inside the paint.
The Jaguars stayed within range until the 2:28 mark of the second quarter. Down only 14-10, Mill Valley went scoreless for the rest of the half, while Tonganoxie quickly increased the lead to 12 with four quick baskets.
Tonganoxie stretched the margin to as much as 23, but the Lady Jaguars were able to score 10 points in the last 3:30 of the game.
"At that point, they were just battling for pride," Bohm said.
Jennifer Putney and Elizabeth Biggers led the Lady Jaguars with eight points each. Mill Valley outgunned the Chieftains from the foul line, hitting 7-of-10, while Tonganoxie struggled with a 1-of-10 performance.