MORRIS — One thing that Morris girls basketball coach Luke Windy couldn’t fault after his team dropped a 38-22 Saturday afternoon decision to Interstate Eight Conference rival LaSalle-Peru was the defense.
“We want to hold teams under 40, and we did that,” Windy said. “I think we are something like 96-8 in my coaching career here when we hold teams under 40 points. The girls played hard and the defense was good enough for us to win.
“We just have to find a way to get the ball in the basket.”
The two teams had played each other Friday night, with L-P pulling away late for a 44-30 win. It was the fourth game this week for both teams as well.
“Playing four games in a week doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for practice,” LaSalle-Peru coach Hollis Vickery said. “We aren’t doing anything really out of the box, but it’s a matter of the girls getting to know each other on the court.”
One player for the Lady Cavs opponents need to become very familiar with is sophomore Brooklyn Ficek, who led all scorers with 22 points. Ficek was a double threat, hitting three three-pointers as well as creating multiple scoring chances with her ability to drive.
“Lauren Klein usually scores between 16-18 a game for us,” Vickery said. “She only had four this afternoon, but Brooklyn did a good job of stepping things up. Other than that, we really had trouble getting our offense going.”
L-P (3-3, 3-3) led from the start as Ficek hit a three-pointer on the game’s opening possession. Morris’ Liz Kenney got free behind the press and Alexis Johnson fed her for a layup to make it 3-2. A three-point play by Ficek and a basket by Sarah Peters put L-P ahead 8-2. Morris got a driving basket by Johnson and a jumper in the lane from Kyla Kjellesvik, who led the Lady Redskins with eight points, to pull to within 8-6 before Ficek scored on a drive to make it 10-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Kjellesvik opened the scoring in the second quarter with a steal and layup before Klein made a pair of free throws. A three-pointer by Maddy Shannon pulled Morris (3-5, 1-4) to within 12-11, but L-P went on a 10-2 run to end the first half with a 22-13 lead.
“We were getting shots that we wanted, but we couldn’t put them in the basket,” Windy said. “We need shoot better.”
Morris finished 10 of 47 (21.3%) from the field and 1 of 6 from the free throw line. After Kjellesvik’s eight points, the Lady Redskins got six points from Johnson, three from Shannon, two each by Kenney and Mackenzie Lind and one from Moriah Mayberry. L-P, meanwhile, got four points each by Klein, Angela Smudzinski and Peters and two from Lauren Phillips.
L-P outscored Morris 6-5 in the third quarter and 10-4 in the fourth to put the game away.
“We only gave up six points in the third quarter, which is great,” Windy said. “But, we only scored five, so we didn’t take advantage of the defense we were playing. We missed a lot of layups and short jumpers, and when you are struggling to score from outside, you have to hit those short shots.
“We made some changes from [Friday] night against their 2-3 defense and they worked pretty well. We just have to put up some more points. We scored 30 Friday night and 22 today. That’s not going to win a lot of games.”
Source: The Daily Chronicle