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Maconaquah trampled by overwhelming Misssissinewa

BY TRENT SCOTT - tscott@perutribune.com

GAS CITY – By the time the first quarter ended Saturday night, there wasn’t any doubt that Maconaquah was falling in its second girls’ basketball game of the young season at Mississinewa.

The only question was by how much after the Indians roared out to a 38-7 lead after the first eight minutes of play on the way to a 93-26 win.

Braves head coach PJ Hatcher said the game was one that was going to ask tougher questions afterwards than during the game.

“It’s one of those life lessons you get,” Hatcher said. “Does the failure that we had break us or motivate us to achieve, to aspire and be successful? It could do either of those.

“We can either look at the deficit or look at the fact that our younger kids improved and our number one goal this year is to improve. Even if only one or two girls got better, then we’ve improved.

“We improved, even if there were a lot of setbacks tonight,” Hatcher added.

“Hopefully, we’re still focused on succeeding.”

The rout began in earnest with Ally Hewitt knocking down a three and adding a layup, followed by a Riley McKee layup for a 7-0 lead.

Maconaquah, having trouble even getting the ball to the offensive end, got a jumper and a three from Jolee Gardner to trim the gap to 10-5.

From that point forward, Mississinewa outscored the Braves 28-2, pressuring the visitors into a myriad of turnovers, getting layups in transition, snagging offensive rebounds on the chance they missed shots and wiped any doubt about where the win was headed out within five minutes as all but two players scored for the hosts in the quarter.

The hosts’ press was a menace throughout, forcing 40 turnovers on the night with Hatcher wondering where things went wrong.

“(Mississinewa) had speed, athleticism, height, length, all of those things that give a team a basketball advantage,” Hatcher noted. “That said, it doesn’t matter what pressure you’re against because ball handling and efficient passing will always beat that,

“We did not execute the way we set up to break the press. We’ve talked about how to execute this but tonight, it felt like we reverted to how we worked it in the preseason.

“We were not cool, calm and collected in our approach,” Hatcher added. “I thought we had worked on it enough because we hit it every day but maybe we need to work on it some more every day.”

Leading by 31 entering the second quarter, the Indians eased off the pressure considerably, running set plays to slow the game down but losing their offensive flow in the process.

Maconaquah still had trouble holding on to the basketball but played slightly more composed, scoring seven points to the hosts’ 10 as Mississinewa took a 48-14 lead into halftime.

Tyler Bartel, Erika Foy and Hewitt dropped in baskets before Syenna Powell got a jumper to fall, one of only two Maconaquah baskets in the quarter.

The Indians finished the quarter on a 16-2 sprint with only a basket from Lilly Scheffler in reply from the Braves as the lead stood at 70-18.

Scheffler, along with Tara Wagoner and McKenna Wilson, each saw significant time on the court during the third and fourth quarter, providing energy off the bench that had been sorely lacking early in the game.

Hatcher said many of the younger members of the team provided some optimism as the game went along.

“When you’re playing against girls who have more varsity experience and three of our girls had no varsity experience prior to tonight, they stepped up and did a good job,” Hatcher said. “Was it a great job? Not yet, but being in a first-time situation, it was a good experience.”

More of the same came during the final period of play as Foy, Webb and Halle Planck ran the visitors ragged, entering the 90-point plateau for the first time since the turn of the century.

Maconaquah, meanwhile, fell to 0-2 on the season and begins a four-game stretch of TRC contests, starting with a trip to Manchester Tuesday evening.

Hatcher said there were many things to work on but said the team needed to focus internally to have a better showing against the Squires.

“We need to work on a little bit of everything but only one day to do it,” Hatcher pointed out. “We have to pick the things that are going to make us better.

“We can know what the other team that the other team is going to do but need to focus on the things that are going to make us a better team.”

At Mississinewa

Maconaquah 7 7 4 8 — 26

Mississinewa 38 10 22 23 — 93

Scoring

Maconaquah — Gardner 9, Lamb 5, Scheffler 4, Ma. Wilson 2, Powell 2, Jess 2, Moore 2, Dinn 0, Mc. Wilson 0, Collins 0, Wagoner 0, Pyke 0, Miracle 0

Mississinewa — Foy 25, Bartel 12, Hewitt 11, Planck 9, McKee 9, Ulerick 7, Webb 7, Greer 6, Dotterweich 3, Turner 2, Tann 2

Next Game: Mississinewa (2-1) travels to Bluffton (2-1) Tuesday at 6 p.m.