Girls Varsity Basketball · Lady Stars’ run ends in regional final

Feb 10, 2019

Speedway — The Western Boone girls basketball team ran into a well-oiled machine in the Speedway Regional final Saturday night.

Defending state runner-up and fourth-ranked Winchester jumped out to a 13-3 lead and never looked back in a 65-41 victory over the Stars.

“We definitely were tight on our outside shots, and we didn’t have an answer for their size,” Western Boone head coach Megan Alexander said. “We didn’t have an answer for their triangle-and-two and that’s on me. Our girls did everything they knew how to do, and worked their butts off tonight trying to execute things. I am proud of our girls, but we just didn’t have an answer tonight.”

Western Boone never led in the game.

Winchester scored twice in the first 34 seconds, and after a Madison Jones 3 cut it to 4-3, the Golden Falcons scored the next nine points to go up 13-3. They led by nine at the first quarter break.

“You can go back and second guess some things to start the game, but they were just better than us tonight by far,” Alexander said. “We didn’t lose because of a silly foul, or one bone-headed play; we lost because they came out and kicked our butts for four quarters and they deserved to win. They are a very good team and they are better than us.”

The Stars tried to right the ship in the second quarter, getting within eight at 22-14, but quickly got down 28-14 and went into the locker room down 11 at 28-17 after a Lauryn Florey buzzer-beating 3.

It was just the sixth made field goal of the half for the Stars, who shot 6-of-35 (17.1 percent) from the field in the opening 16 minutes.

“We felt like we had a little momentum, and our half-court man defense was chipping away at it,” Alexander said. “Even in the third quarter, we were hanging around, but they just shot lights out. We tried to adjust to that, and force them off the line, and they just drove right by us. Hats off to them, they have a fantastic squad, and they have every spot filled with high-level talent.”

Western Boone stayed within 11 midway through the third quarter, but Winchester scored the final seven points of the third to go up 18, and Western Boone go no closer than 17 the rest of the game.

It was a tough night all-around offensively for the Stars, who finished the game 12-of-57 (21.1 percent) from the field.

Star senior Madison Jones struggled from the field, making just 4-of-14 shots and scoring 14 points. She finished her career with 2,125 points, 25th on the all-time scoring list.

While the other starters had big games in the morning victory against Covenant Christian, with Kara Brewer scoring 18 and Lauryn Florey adding 12, they weren’t able to match that against Winchester. Florey had eight in the final, with Hillary Reed and Tesla Burns adding six.

“Madison is going to be a big loss for us, we are going to miss her tremendously,” Alexander said. “Throughout the whole season she has been our crutch, our heart and our juggernaut. She did have a rough night tonight, and she is allowed to have tough nights. I wish the others and myself could have supported and moved her around more to get her some buckets. She didn’t finish at the rim like normal, but this is a high-level of competition and those things happen.”

While Jones will be a big loss, the rest of the regular rotation returns next season.

Alexander said when she looks back at this team, she will remember a lot of good things.

“There are a lot of positives to take away, not only on the floor, but off the floor,” Alexander said. “This is a very special group. Our girls were a tight-knit group, and we have a great culture developed. These girls truly love each other as sisters and family. Looking back on the year, there are far more positives than negatives to take away. It is a sad to see it end, but this was our second family.”