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Cold-shooting Lady Bruins fall to No. 5 ranked Sherrard

PERU — There wasn’t much Tom McGunnigal had to say to his Lady Bruins at halftime Thursday night at Abbot Vincent Gymnasium. They were playing good defense, holding No. 5 state-ranked Sherrard to 20 points. They just couldn’t put the ball in the basket.

He sent them back out to the gym for some shooting practice after a very brief halftime talk, trailing 20-6. While the Lady Bruins picked up their offense a bit in the second half, they could not catch up to the mighty Tigers, falling 46-28.

“There wasn’t much to say. We were getting what we wanted and doing what we wanted other than scoring,” McGunnigal said of his halftime chat. “I wanted them to go out and score some shots at halftime by shooting around.  We picked up the scoring in the second half and hit some 3s but it was too little too late.”

St. Bede was blanked in the first quarter 7-0. They were first to score in the second quarter on a bucket by Emma Perona at the 7:10 mark. That would be their only basket of the first half, tacking on two free throws each by Laura Sickley and Sophie Carus for a 20-6 halftime score.

The extra halftime shooting helped the Lady Bruins pick up their offense a bit. Sickley and Kelsey Thompson added a pair of three-pointers each in the second half and sophomore center Hanna Bima hooped inside twice as the Lady Bruins played the Tigers much closer in the second half, 26-22.

The Tigers had an ample cushion, however, to pull away to the 18-point victory.

“Right now we cannot put the ball in the basket,” McGunnigal said. “I thought we played well defensively, but all of that was negated by not being able to score, easy turnovers to give them easy points, and dumb fouls that gave them two free throws or three-point plays. We executed our defense well but when you aren’t scoring points, it makes no difference what you do on defense. You can hold a team to two points but if you don’t score, you lose. That’s what we have to correct.”

Sherrard senior standout Riley Strandgard spent much of the second quarter on the bench after picking up her second foul early. She returned to the floor for the second, scoring 10 of her game-high 14 points to lead the Tigers to victory. Shelby Calderone added 11 points and Jordan Hutton had 10.

Sherrard, which improved to 20-2 and 6-0 atop the Three Rivers South, returns to Bureau County to face Princeton at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in a make-up contest.

Notes: St. Bede won the sophomore game 48-38. Julia Pohar had 14 points and Brianna Lau added 12. ... The St. Bede varsity will play in Byron’s Martin Luther King Shootout, facing Rockford Jefferson at 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Rockford Jefferson at 10 a.m. Saturday with finals match ups to follow.

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