Tough Shooting Night Costs Lady Royals Versus Gillette

Tough Shooting Night Costs Lady Royals Versus Gillette

Article by Chris Harris, Devils Lake Journal Sports, November 10th, 2018

Over correction can be a dangerous thing, especially when it comes to driving and apparently when comes to the little things in basketball.

Despite just shooting 14.7 percent from the floor, Lake Region State College women's basketball team had a chance with 7.9 seconds to send its game with Gillette Community College into overtime but came up short as the Royals fell to the Pronghorns 62-61 Saturday night in the Sleep Inn Classic from the Sports Center.

"Yeah, that's probably something that we over corrected this weekend," said Lady Royals head coach Danny Mertens about the two ends of the spectrum of great defense and poor shooting. "Last weekend, we were scoring 80 points and they were scoring 80 points and we lost a game so we went all defense (at practice) this week and maybe I over corrected on the defense.

"Defensively, we were great. There aren't many times you force a team into 39 turnovers and lose a basketball game."

The Pronghorns (2-0) had 22 first half turnovers, five less then they had in the second half, but went into halftime with an 11 point advantage thanks to the Royals not-so-grand shooting performance. The Royals and the Pronghorns were tied after the first quarter but LRSC was held to just six points in the second and trailed 30-21 after shooting 5-of-34 over the first 20 minutes.

But the Royals' (2-2) defense remained steadfast, and once the offense began catching up a little, LRSC chipped into the margin. The Royals went 6-of-15 in the third quarter, but all six made baskets were three-pointers that kept them within range as they trailed by seven heading into the final frame.

Dani Schwanke opened the fourth with a basket, and after a forcing a 10-second penalty and a Hailey Hewitt steal, Maara Nelson's bucket cut the Royals deficit to three with nine minutes remaining. The Royals tied the game at 50, Gillette's Tania Jenkins gave the lead back to the Pronghorns but Stephanie Miller's basket tied the game again with 5:05 remaining.

Down eight with 1:49 remaining in the game, Schwanke makes 3 of 4 free throws and Telesia Manumaleuga's made shot with 32 seconds left and the Royals trailed by only three. Another turnover by Gillette gave the ball back to the Royals with 7.9 remaining and Mertens called a timeout to draw the play up.

"We got what we wanted with Maara getting the ball but she probably shouldn't have given it up," Mertens said.

Nelson passed it to Manumaleuga who took what the defense gave her — a layup as time expired.

"You live and learn I guess," said Mertens.

Miller led the team with 16 points, Schwanke finished with 13 points, three rebounds and two steals and Nelson had 10 points but made only one of her 11 two-point attempts and had five rebounds for the Royals.

Jenkins led all scorers with 22 points but she also had six turnovers and fouled out. Teila McInerney scored 18 points and had six rebounds for Gillette.