Through the first three quarters of the game, the Muenster Hornets hung with the potent Lindsay offense, finding their own offense with efficient outside shooting.
Unfortunately in the final quarter, the Hornets’ offense went stale and couldn’t buy a bucket. Muenster was shut out and fell 46-34.
The loss marked the first district defeat for Muenster in eight seasons and puts the Hornets in second place behind Lindsay for now.
Muenster head coach Lynn Cook was baffled as to the sudden seizure of the Hornets’ offense in the fourth quarter.
“Give me all of the game except the fourth quarter,” Cook said. “Shots that had been falling in the beginning of the game weren’t falling in the fourth. We couldn’t get any second-chance points and that was happening in the first half. Credit Lindsay for that. I told my guys that we’re a young, inexperienced varsity basketball team and sometimes you have to learn on the go.”
The Knights made their run midway through the fourth quarter that saw three straight possessions converted for points and after that, Cook said his team panicked.
“I thought our shot selection suffered after that,” Cook said. “We took some bad shots and we turned the ball over, which doesn’t give you much of a chance.”
The Hornets were led by 15 points from Grant Hess and 11 points from Andrew Flaming. Both players were 3-of-7 on 3-pointers in the game, but both went cold in the fourth quarter.
Cook said their outside shooting that fell apart was a function of the style Muenster is having to play with a young, developing group of players.
“We had defensive breakdowns and we have to be better at making at least one basket,” Cook said. “We just didn’t make very good decisions with the basketball. Those shots have a tough enough time going on already.”
While it always hurts to lose, Cook said his team can learn from the early loss and prepare for the second time the Hornets face Lindsay at home Tuesday, Feb. 2.
“We’ve got to take something that just happened to us, dissect it, learn from it and get better,” Cook said. “Especially for a young team, you’ve got to take these opportunities and grow. Hopefully that’s what we’re going to do.”
The Knights’ move to a zone defense in the second half was a thorn in Muenster’s side. At times Muenster found creases and opportunities, but obviously, in the fourth they were stagnant.
Muenster tried to stay patient by passing the ball frequently in order to make Lindsay’s defense move, but Cook said the offense is designed to get inside. He credited Lindsay’s defense for obscuring the Hornets’ vision.
As far as what the Hornets can build off, Cook said they gave Lindsay everything it wanted for three quarters.
“We have to figure out how to play four quarters,” Cook said. “Obviously you can’t win with just three quarters.”