PERU — Injuries and illness can be very detrimental to any team, and that was the case for the LaMoille/Ohio Lady Lions as they fell 61-41 to Fieldcrest Saturday at the St. Bede Academy Lady Bruin Christmas Classic.
LaMoille/Ohio started two freshmen in order to make up for the absent upperclassmen but couldn’t overcome the Lady Knights’ offensive attack, as the Knights jumped out to an early 6-0 lead.
“We came down to the tournament today without five of our varsity girls. One got hurt in our last game; another girl wasn’t here for different reasons; and another girl for another reason. We started two freshmen guards today, and that’s tough. They played good, and they played awful hard; but they are inexperienced,” said LaMoille/Ohio coach Richard Gross. “They did very good; we held our own with them (Fieldcrest). I’m very proud of them.”
LaMoille/Ohio evened the score at 16-16 with 20 seconds left in the first on a three-pointer by Fieldcrest junior guard Jayla Gensler.
First half scoring would be rounded out by Fieldcrest senior guard Julia Jochum’s as she sank a 15- foot jumper with 2:02 to go in the first half to give the Lady Knights a 19-16 lead; they wouldn’t trail for the remainder of the contest.
Fieldcrest steadily added to their lead during the second half as their scoring run was highlighted by 10 straight points by senior guard Haley Ruestman, giving the Lady Knights a 52-26 lead with 1:52 seconds to play in the third quarter.
A late L/O run cut the Lady Knights lead to 18 at the 4:13 mark of the fourth on the shoulders of the Lady Lions’ senior forward Vanessa Martinez as she scored nine consecutive points.
“She’s always around the ball. She hasn’t played basketball. As a senior, this is her first year playing high school basketball. She has such a nice shot. I don’t know how she does that, but she has a beautiful shot,” said Gross. ”She’s a good smart basketball player with a beautiful shot.”
The Lady Lions were back in action Monday against Princeton.
“It’s going to be a tough game (Monday). I wish we had everyone back, but we don’t,” said Gross, “We’ll do our best. They always do; they never quit. So we’ll be OK, and we’ll be ready to play.”
Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.