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Lady Bulldogs show flashes of excellence in Sturgeon Tournament

Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at 10:53 pm

Lady Bulldogs bow out of tournament after losing to New Bloomfield 60-33

Over the back shots, sinking three consecutive free-throws, Man-to-Man and trapping defense.

Observers saw things they liked and reasons to hope for a winning future in the Sturgeon Lady Bulldogs’ 60-33 Sturgeon Tournament loss to New Bloomfield’s Lady Wildcats.

Jalissa Woods and Erin Mills grab a rebound from New Bloomfield.

Though New Bloomfield led all four quarters: 15-11 in the first; 26-15 in the second and 39-28 in the third, Sturgeon kept the game competitive agains the 6-10 Lady Wildcats.

Alayna Hall led Sturgeon with 13 points, backed up by Jaylissa Wood – she of the over-the-back shot an consecutive free-throws, backed her up with 8 and Grace Thomas had three.

Asya Nichols led New Bloomfield and the game with 17.

“They shot some great free throws,” Brett Craighead, Lady Wildcats head coach, said of Sturgeon, “that kept them in the game.”

He acknowledged the Lady Panthers relentless offense. “We changed defenses to confuse them,” Craighead said. “We went from a 2-3 Zone to Half-Court Man to Full-Court Man to keep them confused.

Most of those changes came in the third quarter when Sturgeon battle back from an 11-point deficit to make it a five-point ballgame for a while.

“For three quarters we played some great basketball,” Lady Bulldogs Head Coach Dan Kruse said afterward, as knee-high future Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs chased basketballs around the K-8 court. “Our biggest challenge isn’t making the big play, it’s overreacting to the bad play. When something goes wrong we’ve got to learn to stop the bleeding and get back to work.”

He complimented Woods’ work on the hardwood that evening.

“She’s playing pretty good, coming off an injury that has limited her playing time, and a freshman at that. She’s a good ball-handler and aggressive. We need that.”

Now out of the Sturgeon Tournament, the Lady Bulldogs see action again Monday, at home, when they and the varsity boys host the Centralia Panthers.

For more, see next week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.