GATESVILLE — It is difficult to win basketball games without an offensive threat.
Gatesville found out the hard way Tuesday.
The Lady Hornets missed 23 of their 33 shot attempts against Clifton and no player scored more than six points as the Lady Cubs held Gatesville to nine points in the second half en route to a 38-24 victory.
After the game, Gatesville head coach Chris Carroll admitted the Lady Hornets’ shooting struggles and overall lack of execution on offense are worrisome.
“We have no offensive punch whatsoever,” Carroll said. “And people know that, so they just stand there.”
Daring the Lady Hornets to shoot proved to be a sound strategy following the first quarter. After making four of 10 shots to start the game, Gatesville only made two shots in each of the final three quarters.
Five players scored points for Gatesville (7-6) in the first quarter and the teams entered the second quarter tied 10-10, but the Lady Hornets’ offense dwindled from then on. Madeline Lamar connected on the Lady Hornets’ only 3-pointer of the night to tie the game 15-15 with 2:30 remaining before halftime, but Gatesville would not score again in the quarter, and Clifton posted five unanswered points to take a 20-15 lead into the third quarter.
Junior point guard Sarah Latham, who finished with a team-high six points to go along with five rebounds, three assists and a block made Gatesville’s only field goals in the third quarter, and the Lady Cubs extended their advantage to 30-20 early in the fourth quarter.
Over the final eight minutes, Clifton outscored Gatesville 10-4 with eight points coming at the free-throw line.
Carroll, however, believes the Lady Hornets’ offensive issues can be corrected with time.
“You play, and you get your teeth kicked in as a sophomore,” Carroll said, referring to his young team’s lack of self-confidence at times. “Then you hope those kids play in the summer and come back as a junior a little better.”