Tecumseh stops Lanesville at regional
George Browning, Sports Writer, [email protected]
The Lanesville girls’ basketball team tried to mount an incredible comeback against Tecumseh in Saturday’s Class A Regional Semifinal at West Washington but came up short, 65-58.
Two factors played major roles in the Lady Eagles’ loss: the inability to score early and a lack of rebounding.
Lanesville coach Angie Hinton said the inability to score may have been nerves, but that shouldn’t have been the case.
“I guess it was nerves, but these kids have played in front of big crowds all season and we have a lot of kids back from the regional team last year,” she said. “The shots just didn’t fall.”
As for rebounding, Tecumseh had eight offensive boards in the second quarter alone, and Hinton said that part of the game is just a matter of wanting it more.
“We weren’t able to keep their guards off the boards,“ Hinton said. “They came in and crashed the boards, and our guards didn’t pick them up at all.
“We were supposed to have all five players going to the boards, but we just stood and watched,” she said, “and it burned us because they were able to get the rebounds, which usually either led to an easy bucket or they would get fouled.”
Early on, it looked as if the Lady Eagles were poised to take another step beyond where the 2018-19 season ended.
Georgia Brumley’s three at the buzzer to end the first quarter cut Tecumseh’s lead to three, 13-10.
Gracie Adams scored to open the second quarter, and Linzie Wernert hit one of two free throws to tie the score at 13.
Just a few seconds after Wernert’s freebie, Adams picked up her third foul with 7:06 remaining in the first half but remained on the court and Lanesville continued to battle. After two missed free throws by the Lady Braves, Brumley knocked down another three, putting the Lady Eagles up by three, 16-13.
Tecumseh answered with a three by Layne Pemberton and got two free throws from Karsyn Flowers. Kaybree Oxley scored two points after grabbing an offensive rebound that put the Lady Braves up two, 20-18.
Oxley scored seven more of her game-high 25 points down the stretch to end the first half and kept Tecumseh in front 31-28 at the end of the second quarter.
A basket by Morgan Sonner pulled Lanesville to within one, 31-30, at the start of the third quarter, but, just like in the first half, Tecumseh had an answer.
Pemberton hit a three, and Oxley score inside, extending the Lady Braves’ lead to six.
Adams and Wernert scored for the Lady Eagles to keep it close.
Tecumseh again answered those baskets, this time with an 8-0 run that was sparked by two more threes from Pemberton. That run put the Lady Braves up 10, 44-34. They were never seriously threatened from there.
Some missed free throws by the Lady Braves and timely scoring by Adams, who put in nine of her 15 points in the final two minutes of the game, kept hope alive for the Lady Eagles.
Lanesville got as close as five points, 63-58, but Tecumseh hit two more free throws with six seconds remaining to put an exclamation point on the victory.
Besides Adams’ late offensive outburst, the only other bright spot offensively for Lanesville, according to Hinton, was Wernert. She finished with 20 points, eight of which came in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.
Hinton said Wernert’s offense was great to see but said moving forward the freshman has to improve on the other end of the floor.
“Linzie did a lot of good things; she is a freshman and this was her first time on this stage,” Hinton said. “What we have to work on with her is on the defensive end. She got caught on the inside and got pinned out, and we didn’t give her much help when that happened. I know that will improve because she works her butt off.”
Lanesville doesn’t have a senior on the roster and, if things go according to plan, the Lady Eagles should be favored to get another crack at advancing even further next year.
Hinton said that isn’t going to just happen; it’s going to take hard work from everyone in the off-season.
“We have to get improvement from our guards and it’s not just one, it’s all of them,” she said. “We have to get all the guards where they can handle the ball without making the soft passes or dribbling into a double team. They have to be able to navigate through all that. They have to be able to knock down jump shots. Our guards do good defensively, but offensively we don’t have that person who can run the show smoothly and distribute the basketball.”
Hinton said while offensive improvement from the guards is necessary, it’s not only on them.
“We have great forwards, but Linzie and Gracie have to work on their ball handling because they need to be able to come out and face the basket and run the offense also,” she said.
While there are a number of areas to improve upon, Hinton didn’t want to lose sight of the incredible season her team had.
Lanesville finished the season with a 23-4 record, won the Southern Athletic Conference for the second year in a row and won back-to-back sectional championships.
“What we’ve accomplished has been incredible,” Hinton said. “We don’t want to miss that, but we also have to get better if we want to take the next step.”
Tecumseh tried to continue the magic in the regional finals but came out on the short end, 53-47, against Loogootee.
Loogootee will now take on Greenwood Christian at Saturday’s Class 1A semi-state.
Lanesville 10 18 9 21 – 58
Tecumseh 13 18 17 17 – 65
Lanesville (23-4) – Linzie Wernert 20, Gracie Adams 15, Georgia Brumley 6, Morgan Sonner 6, Danielle Haire 4, Kennedy Gordon 3, Auston Crosier 2, Elizabeth Turner 2.
Tecumseh (19-6) – Kaybree Oxley 25, Layne Pemberton 21, Gracee Sullivan 8, Karsyn Flowers 6, Brianna Marx 3, Lillee Sullivan 2.
3-point goals – Lanesville 2 (Brumley 2); Tecumseh 6 (Pemberton 6).