SPARTA — The Highland Fighting Scot girl’s basketball team struggled in a loss to the Cardington Pirates on Saturday, 67-19.
The Cardington girls basketball team is widely regarded as one of the best in the Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference and the Pirate girls took full advantage of the mistakes that the Lady Scots made.
The Lady Scots were outscored by 20 in the first quarter alone (22-2) and by 13 points in the second quarter (15-2). The Lady Scots were outscored 19-10 in the third quarter and 11-5 in the fourth quarter.
The stats of the game speak to a Highland team that was simply missing shots and missing opportunities on the court while the Cardington girls were taking advantage of every scoring and defensive opportunity that afforded them.
“We shot 17% for the whole entire game,” said Highland Coach Whitney Levering-Smith. “We only made 2 for 28 in the first half. It’s hard to win any game when you can’t make baskets. We were getting all the shots we wanted. We had only eight turnovers. We were able to get what we wanted, we just couldn’t make it and put it in the basket. When you have that issue it’s hard to win any game, especially when it’s against Cardington, which is a very good team.”
The Scots were able to beat Cardington’s zone defense early, but weren’t able to capitalize on their open looks at the basket.
“When I look at it, it’s shooting with confidence and knowing that when you’re open you’re not just shooting and hoping that it’s going to go in; you are shooting to score, not just shooting because you are open,” said Levering-Smith. “We had that issue in the first half. We were kind of surprised that we beat their 1-3-1 and we’re open, so we’re throwing it up. Then in the second quarter we were like: ‘Okay, let’s get our feet set; let’s get going.’ We were more fluent with our shots, we just weren’t making them. We were struggling and we couldn’t really get in the flow of it and it’s kind of hard to get out of that quicksand when you’re constantly missing shots.”
Despite the loss, Levering-Smith was happy with the effort her Scots gave.
“I’m proud with our demeanor. We didn’t stop playing all four quarters,” she said. “Yeah, we missed shots, but we didn’t give up and we still tried to play a hard game. We could have easily put our heads down, but we didn’t. I was proud of that. We just have to move on.”
Madison Cecil (8 points) and Gena West (4 points) were the top scorers for Highland.
Casey Bertke scored 24 points and Hannah Wickline added 19 for the Pirates.
Both teams are back in action Wednesday. Highland will travel to Lakewood, while Cardington plays host to River Valley.