Lady Cardinals' skid continues

HASKELL - Harmony Grove’s woes continued on Tuesday night when Fountain Lake came to town. Losing to the Cobras for the second time this season, the Lady Cardinals’ skid hit four straight games without a win after losing on Tuesday 48-33. The Lady Cobras beat Harmony Grove earlier in the year 50-33.

The Lady Cardinals came into Tuesday night with another streak on their shoulders that they hoped would be lifted. For three straight games, the Lady Cardinals had shot under 25 percent from the floor.

The Lady Cardinals started Tuesday’s game by missing six straight shots and found themselves in a quick 6-0 hole to the Lady Cobras. Harmony Grove’s Torie Simmons finally got her team on the board at the midway point of the first quarter with a short jumper to cut the game to four at 6-2. But the Lady Cobras continued their early dominance by answering with a huge 3-pointer to go up by seven at 9-2.The Lady Cobras would add a free throw to end the opening quarter with a 10-2 lead.

The Lady Cardinals were able to score a little more in the second quarter, but could not stop the good shooting of Fountain Lake, allowing 11 more points to head to the locker room trailing by 10 at 21-11.

“I told them that we had to be more aggressive offensively and stop settling for jump shots all of the time,” Head Coach John White said. “You have got to get easy baskets by attacking the basket and getting to the foul line.”

At one point, the Lady Cardinals turned the ball over five times on five straight possessions without getting a single shot off in the second quarter. The Lady Cardinals opened the second half up with a big bucket from Simmons to cut the Fountain Lake lead to eight. Moments later, Harmony Grove guard Morgan Ramsey hit her only bucket of the game, this one from 3-point range to cut the score to 21-16 early in the third quarter.

Macy Coffee hit another Lady Cardinals’ 3-pointer seconds later and pulled her team to within two at 21-19 still early in the third quarter. A free throw from Fountain Lake, countered by another bucket from Simmons stalled the score at 22-21. But then the scoring went cold for the Lady Cardinals as Fountain Lake began to heat back up. The Lady Cobras ended the third quarter on a 4-0 run in the final minutes to take a little cushion into the fourth quarter at 26-21.

The Lady Cobras never looked back as they continued to dominate on both ends of the floor. Fountain Lake continued their run from the third into the fourth pushing it to 16-0 to take a commanding 38-21 lead early in the fourth. Simmons answered for the Lady Cardinals with another big 3-pointer to cut the score to 38-24, but no comeback was in store for the Lady Cardinals as they fell for the fourth straight game, 48-33.

One of the biggest deciding factors for the Lady Cardinals was the fact that they shot just four free throws and made zero. Harmony Grove’s defense was physical all night and it showed, allowing Fountain Lake to get to the foul line for 31 attempts. The Lady Cobras hit 18 in the game.

“They attacked us and we tried to pressure them; we put our hands on them and put them in the bonus,” White said. “But when you foul them 35-feet away then they are going to put them in the bonus and they are going to go shoot two [free throws]. That was a deciding factor. You have got to know when to foul and when not to.”

Turnovers were big, again, for the Lady Cardinals as they were forced to turn the ball over 16 times while forcing the Lady Cobras to give it up 13 times. The difference was that Fountain Lake was able to turn their takeaways into points and Harmony Grove didn’t.

One of the biggest positives from Tuesday night was the fact that Simmons was able to score. For the past few games, Simmons has averaged about four points per game. On Tuesday, she led the Lady Cardinals with 12 including two 3-pointers. Coffee followed with eight points of her own.

“[Simmons] hit some shots and kept us in the ball game,” White said. “It was a nice perk for the evening.”

The Lady Cardinals finally shot better than 23 percent, hitting 32 percent from the floor on Tuesday. Harmony Grove actually outshot Fountain Lake, as the Lady Cobras hit just 30 percent of their shots.

The Lady Cardinals are set to take on Episcopal on Friday night. Harmony Grove got the best of Episcopal in their last matchup earlier this season 47-24. The Lady Cardinals will look to snap a four game skid when they tip off on the road at 6 p.m. Friday.