On the windy, bitter-cold Friday that the school had off, the girls basketball teams headed down to Gaylord St. Mary to play them that evening. Heading into the night, both JV and varsity knew what they were in for – a tough night full of hustle and hard work. Both teams ended leaving with losses.
As the varsity game began, the Bulldog defense knew they were going to have a hard time guarding number twelve, Alex Hunter. She is St. Mary’s point guard who is good at moving the ball and hitting shots when she spots up in position. The girls came out in a 2-3 zone with more pressure put up top by guards Precious Delos Santos and Hailey Shank. The defense was not terrible but could have been improved. The offensive end is where most of the trouble occurred for the girls on the court.
Our Lady Bulldogs had a hard time getting the ball past half court as St. Mary came out in a full-court zone press. The Snowbirds defense moved swiftly, creating 27 turnovers from the Bulldogs. In the first quarter, Inland Lakes only scored four points as the opposing team scored 17. The girls knew that they had to slow down and take their time and get a good shot selection if they were going to get a decent shot up.
In the second quarter, the Lady Bulldogs were beating themselves. They had trouble getting past half court with the full court pressure the Snowbirds had on them. Only one basket was made by the Bulldogs leading into halftime, leaving the score at 36-6. As the team headed into the locker room, they knew that they would have to all step up individually if they were going to cut into Gaylord’s lead.
After halftime full of re-grouping and mentally getting ready for everything the second half had to offer, the Bulldogs came out and fought a fight they knew would be a tough one. St. Mary’s girls basketball program has been in a great place for a very long time. This team will continue to dominate against most teams they play. The large scoring gap resulted in Bulldogs bench players getting in and seeing some action on the court. Senior Anna Beardsley did a good job of handling the ball when needed and staying calm through the second half of the game. Her leadership and great attitude helped the team stay calm and focused on the court even if they were down by 42 leading into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter started, and the girls wanted to score more than two points in the quarter. Senior guard Lexi Brendly came out with a shot from the right side which started things off nicely. Eventually junior Tyra Fletcher got fouled down low and went to the line, sinking both of her free throws. Junior guard Precious Delos Santos was light on her feet as she went up for a floater. She got the basket and hustled back on defense and applied some serious pressure up top.
The girls ended up losing 60-14.
As it gets close to the middle of the season, the girls varsity basketball team hopes that in this part of their schedule they will put some more wins on their record.
At this point the girls are 2-5, with wins against Mancelona and Detour and losses to Onaway, Pellston, Hillman, Pickford and St. Mary’s. This week, as Inland Lakes will travel to Johannesburg-Lewiston on Wednesday and play Forest Area at home on Friday, there are hopes that they will be 4-5 by the end of the week.