LAMPASAS — Missed opportunities accumulate, and for Lampasas, they added up to a loss.
The Lady Badgers completely erased a 13-point deficit in the second half, but failed to score in the final 2:35 of the game and lost their nondistrict finale to Crawford 36-33. En route to defeat, Lampasas missed 6 of 8 free throws, committed 19 turnovers, gave up numerous fast break opportunities and did not capitalize while holding the Lady Pirates to a single basket in the fourth quarter.
Lampasas head coach Jenny Bowden knows her team cannot afford to make similar mistakes once District 8-3A plays begins for the Lady Badgers (4-16) on Friday at Gatesville.
“We’ve got to start clicking and coming together as a group,” Bowden said.
“Our defense has to be on, and we can’t take any minutes off. We’ll play 28 minutes, and then take four minutes off in random spots here and there. We have to put a complete game together.”
The Lady Badgers’ most notable lapse against Crawford occurred midway through the first quarter.
After taking a 7-2 lead on guard Julie Mize’s 3-pointer, the Lady Badgers went cold from the field as Crawford constructed a 13-1 run to end the first quarter. Sophomore guard Caitlyn Shaughnessy ended Lampasas’ scoring drought on a putback early in the second quarter before pulling within four points, 18-14, on Miranda Maceyra’s layup.
But the Lady Badgers had another offensive hiccup and went into halftime trailing 23-15. The Lady Pirates’ lead swelled to 31-18 in the third quarter before Lampasas began rallying.
Senior post Chasity Fields recorded the final six points of the quarter and grabbed four of her team-high seven rebounds in the period as Lampasas trimmed the deficit to 31-24.
“It just comes when it comes,” Fields, who finished with 10 points, said of her third-quarter showing.
Lampasas continued to roll in the fourth quarter as Stacie Olivarez connected on a 3-pointer, Shaughnessy finished a successful fast break she triggered with a steal, and Mize, who posted a game-high 13 points and three assists, completed a 13-0 run with a driving layup, tying the game 31-31 with 5:35 remaining.
The Lady Badgers, however, would not score another point for three minutes, and Crawford took advantage of the scoring slump, recording five consecutive points, including its only field goal of the quarter, a 3-pointer by Jordyn Villa, to rebuild a lead at 36-31.
Fields scored the game’s final points with 2:35 remaining, and the Lady Pirates held on for the victory as both teams blanked at the free-throw line late. Three Crawford players combined to miss three free-throw attempts in the game’s final 42 seconds, and Lampasas junior guard Sierra Rash missed a pair with 10.58 seconds remaining.
Nevertheless, the Lady Badgers had an opportunity to force overtime after collecting a rebound off a missed free throw with eight seconds remaining, but Lampasas did not attempt a 3-pointer before time expired.
While seeing her team click both offensively and defensively at times is encouraging, the spans of ineffectiveness are troublesome to Bowden, who believes producing consistently will be essential to the Lady Badgers succeeding in district play.
“It is very frustrating, and the girls know that because they feel the frustration,” Bowden said. “We played four games (earlier in the week at our home tournament), so I know they are tired and there has been the holiday break. They’ll rest today and tomorrow, and then they’ll be ready to go back on Wednesday, and hopefully, go get a win on Friday.”
San Saba boys 62, Lometa 38 — At San Saba, Kelan Verette scored 20 points and the Armadillos outscored Lometa in every quarter en route to a victory.
Eric Nichols led the Hornets (9-8) with 19 points before fouling out.
Lometa will hold an alumni game Friday night at 6:30 before returning to district play a week from today at Cranfills Gap.