Slow start bogs down St. Croix Central girls basketballNo matter how well a team plays, recovering from a 21-3 deficit at the start of a game is practically impossible.
No matter how well a team plays, recovering from a 21-3 deficit at the start of a game is practically impossible.
That’s what the St. Croix Central girls basketball team discovered in its 50-35 loss at Boyceville last Thursday.
St. Croix Central’s girls were badly outrebounded in the opening third of Thursday’s game and that led to all sorts of problems for the Panthers. Boyceville scored off several offensive rebounds and were fouled several other times on rebounds. The Bulldogs hit nearly all their free throws in that opening stretch, which set them up to hound the Panthers with full-court pressure.
“It was a chain effect,” Central coach Luke Fritsche said of the team’s lack of rebounding success. The Panthers were the top rebounding team in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference in the first few weeks of the season, but Fritsche said the team’s hunger for rebounds hasn’t been as strong in its most recent games.
The Panthers trailed 16-3 after the first quarter and Boyceville’s lead grew to 21-3 early in the second quarter before the Panthers were able to regain some control in the game. The Panthers outscored Boyceville for the rest of the half 14-10, to make the margin 31-21 at halftime.
In the second half the Panthers were able to keep the margin in the 8-10 point range for most of the half. Over the final three quarters Boyceville outscored the Panthers by one point, but the damage was already done by the first quarter issues.
“To the girls’ credit, coming back from as far down as they were, they showed some mental toughness,” Fritsche said.
Leading the Panther comeback was senior point guard Laura DeSmith. She played another complete game, finishing with 12 points, four steals and four blocked shots.
This is a busy week for the Panthers. They were scheduled to play at Elmwood on Tuesday. They will play at Amery on Thursday, making up a previous postponement. The third road game of the week will be on Friday, when the Panthers play at Spring Valley.