Cardinal Spellman’s first quarter struggles against Bishop Loughlin turned out to be a microcosm of their day.
Spellman struggled in all facets of the game, especially on the glass and shooting. Combine that with sloppy ball handling and it allowed Loughlin to pull away and hand the Pilots their first lost of the season, 66-37, in a CHSAA girls’ basketball crossover game at Christ the King last Sunday. Spellman coach Jane Morris wasn’t happy with her team’s inability to make open shot and lack of boxing out.
“That’s why we lost today,” she said. “Loughlin put pressure on the ball and we continued to dribble right into their press. If you put the ball on the floor they are sending two [defenders] at you.”
Spellman’s first quarter struggles put it behind from the start. The Pilots struggled to find any offensive rhythm in the frame as they only had one field goal. They trailed 12-3 going into the second quarter.
Spellman fought back in the second quarter. Midway through the second, it was able to knot things up at 15-15 on a put back by Kameron Stone. They Pilot only went into half, in what could’ve been a lopsided game, down just 29-22 thanks to basket that beat the buzzer by Nicole Hill.
Loughlin (3-0) took whatever momentum Spellman built away in the third quarter. The Lions dominated the frame, outscoring the Pilots 20-9 in the quarter thanks to an 18-3 run. The Loins took a 49-31 advantage in the fourth quarter. Jade Vega and Niajah Morgan each had eight points. Milicia Reid paced Loughlin with 16 points and freshman post Zaria Dursey had 13. Spellman (3-1) knows it didn’t play its best.
“As a team we didn’t pass well or shoot well,” Spellman guard Jade Vega said. “We have to use this as a learning experience and improve from it. As the point guard I have to set up my teammates and put them in a position to score.”
The Lions’ pressure defense continued to force the Pilots to make quick decisions and they maintained their superiority on the glass. Spellman does start five seniors, but they are a relatively inexperienced team. Their bench is compiled with players who are either young or didn’t see much action last season.
“I start five seniors, and two of them haven’t played a lot,” Morris said. “We’ve been playing alright so far. We beat ourselves today, but we will get there soon.”