DOVER – The momentum was on the Lady Stars side.
After trailing by 13 early in the third quarter, the Stars had scored six-straight points and had a 2-on-0 break that could have brought them within five points midway through the quarter.
But, on a night that nothing seemed to go right for Western Boone, disaster struck. The Stars missed the lay-up, Tri-West countered with a 7-0 run and Western Boone could never recover, ultimately losing 64-51 in the Sagamore Conference opener for both teams.
“It’s never just one play, and that is the beauty of basketball,” Western Boone head coach Megan Alexander said. “You always have a chance to make it back, but that deflated us and got in our heads a little bit. It was a wide open lay-up and we didn’t get the rebound either. It gave them a little bit of a surge, and it was a tough night overall.”
The Stars struggled from the field in the first quarter, shooting just 4-of-12 from the field as the Bruins built a 17-9 lead.
Western Boone got back within five quickly in the second quarter, but the Bruins countered with an 11-1 run to take a 28-13 lead and led by 10 at the halftime break.
The Stars turned it over 16 times in the first half.
“It was a rough night,” Alexander said. “We kept on shooting ourselves in the foot. We haven’t played in over a week, so getting back up into game speed was tough. We are inexperienced, and our mental approach after having a long break wasn’t great. In practice this week, we kind of got by until the end and we wouldn’t be at our goal, and then we would work really hard to get that goal at the end. That was just like tonight. We got in a big hole, then had to desperately try to fight back.”
A 3-pointer by Maggie Cora gave the Bruins a 36-23 lead on the opening possession of the second half.
But two baskets by Lauryn Florey and one by Madison Jones got the Stars within seven, before the missed breakaway lay-up changed the tide of the game again.
Tri-West out-scored Western Boone 11-3 the rest of the quarter, and went on an 18-4 run overall to go up 20 with 6:24 to go.
The Stars played better down the stretch to get within 11, but it was too little, too late.
“The positive is that we played terrible, we turned it over a lot, we missed easy shots and we were still within 11 at the end of the game,” Alexander said. “This is a game we could have won, if we played our game a little more. If we do that, we put them more into desperation mode.”
Jones led the Stars with 16 points, while Florey and Kara Brewer each had 15.
Western Boone is right back in action this afternoon.
They host Bishop Chatard for a 2 p.m. JV tip, followed by the varsity.
“We are going to have to correct some defensive issues overnight,” Alexander said. “We weren’t playing help-side defense at all today and weren’t rotating. The problems we had tonight are not going to fix themselves, so we are going to have to continue to work at it.”