Girls lose another close game
Published: Thursday, February 7th, 2013
After enduring several lopsided losses over the course of the season, the Custer High School girls basketball team hung tough with an opponent for its second consecutive game, losing a hard fought 48-41 contest last Friday night in Hot Springs.
The Wildcats were within striking distance the entire game, bolstered by a strong night at the free throw line. The Wildcats made 24 of 30 free throws in the game, including a 12 of 14 effort from Sam McNeel, who led the Wildcats in scoring with 14 points.
In a game loaded with fouls—the teams combined for 48 fouls total—Hot Springs broke out to an early lead, only to see the Wildcats claw back.
Custer head coach Stephanie Ornelas credited her team’s defense with helping them get back into the game and keep them within striking distance throughout.
“We really focused during the week on getting in front of the cutters,”âï¿½ï¿½she said.âï¿½ï¿½“We wanted to make it difficult for them on offense. We didn’t want to let them go where they wanted to go. It made a huge difference.”
As the game entered its final minutes, Ornelas said the girls weren’t always in the best defensive position, which led to them being whistled for fouls. Hot Springs stepped to the line and made the ’Cats pay, hitting eight of 12 free throw attempts in the final quarter.
“That was more or less the difference in the game,” Ornelas said.
Despite the loss, Ornelas said she is encouraged by the team’s play in its last two games, and said she continues to see improvement out of her team.
“We focus on one thing one week and the other stuff seems to fall behind,”âï¿½ï¿½she said. “Our help-side defense took a back seat, because it wasn’t our focus. We have to put everything together.”
Friday night the team heads north to take on the Belle Fourche Broncs. That game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start.
“They will have some good athletes on the floor that played volleyball,” Ornelas said.âï¿½ï¿½“They are going to be big. We have to close out the inside.”
Custer 6 12 9 14 —41
HS 14 11 9 14 —48
Custer—Sam McNeel 1 12-14 14, Jade Spring 3 2-2 9, Channelle Alcott 1 1-4 4, Darian Turner 1 5-8 7, Nykyla Malinosky 1 0-0 2, Joana Arengo 1 0-0 2, Taren Jones 1 1-5 3. Totals: 9 24-30 41.
Hot Springs—Mikayla Stevens 1 4-6 6, Angela Merril 2 2-3 6, Sable Simmons 0 2-2 2, Laree Stevens 1 2-2 4, Jordan Tierney 0 4-6 6, Harlynn Stover 3 3-5 9, Mary Ginsbach 4 6-7 14. Totals: 11 23-31 48.
Three-point goals: Custer 2 (Spring, Alcott). Total fouls: Custer 24, HSâï¿½ï¿½24. Fouled out: Malinosky, Stover.
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