The Muenster Lady Hornets never could catch their breath as Era took a 12-6 lead in the first quarter and had a double-digit lead by the third frame of the key district tilt Tuesday, Jan. 14.
Muenster made its run to begin the fourth quarter and cut the lead down to seven points, but that would be as close as it came as the Lady Hornets fell 47-36.
Muenster head coach Chris Hightower was proud his team didn’t stop fighting.
“They didn’t quit and the biggest lead was probably 15 points,” Hightower said. “Against a team like Era, a coach like [Don] Neu and players like [Briana] Knabe and [Sandra Christian], a 10-point lead might as well be 15 or 20 points. I was happy we were able to cut it seven points, but it’s such a tough hill to climb. It’s not a hill, it’s a mountain. I’m proud that we played until the buzzer.”
Martie McCoy led Muenster in scoring with 16 points, but no other Lady Hornet was in double figures. Annie Anderle was limited to nine points.
Offensively, Muenster had trouble around the rim with missed layups along with some inconsistent 3-point shooting and Hightower said his team has had better shooting nights.
“We had a lot of shots not go down,” Hightower said. “Era defended us a certain way and they were open shots, but we like to attack a little more. I thought we did a decent job, but typically when somebody like Annie is taken away, other players step up. We have four or five girls that can shoot it, but we just couldn’t hit any shots. We missed a lot of free throws too and there were a lot of phases of the game that we just didn’t do a good job in.”
Turnovers also were a thorn in Muenster’s side.
Many of them were taken the other way for easy baskets by Briana Knabe, who led all players with 32 points.
“A player like Knabe can force those kind of things, but I’m disappointed we didn’t adjust,” Hightower said. “Do I think we could have done a better job? Of course I do. A good chunk of her points came from steals in transition and not as many came in the half court. That’s a lot of my frustration. She forced some of those, but I like to think we’re a good enough team to not let some of those things happen either.”
Muenster, now 22-4 on the season and 1-1 in district play, will travel to Poolville on Friday, Jan. 17.
Hightower said it will be another big test for Muenster.
“The good thing is it’s still early,” Hightower said. “We can still win district and we still have opportunities. We have a tough opponent in Poolville, and this is a pretty big bump in the road, but we’ve got to get back to work.”
Patrick Hayslip can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip