JARRELL — The Florence Lady Buffs allowed some big runs Thursday, but one of the best things about tournament play is getting a chance to live and learn from those experiences now instead of having them be costly during district play.
Shali Simpson had a team-high 11 points, but Florence’s (5-6) offense faced its struggles in a 60-21 loss to Rogers (8-1) at the Jarrell Tournament.
The Lady Buffs also lost to Bruceville-Eddy 39-23 earlier in the day. Florence will play host Jarrell at noon today in bracket play.
“We haven’t played teams this good yet,” Simpson said. “I think we’ll prepare and practice better for district.”
Simpson also led Florence with eight points against Bruceville-Eddy while junior wing Jillian Brewer scored five points in that contest.
Big quarters doomed Florence in both contests and allowed its opponents to jump out to a big halftime lead.
Bruceville-Eddy outscored Florence 17-4 in the second quarter and took a 23-9 advantage at the break. Rogers outscored Florence 24-6 in the opening quarter and took a 33-15 lead at halftime.
“We came out flat in both games today and we just realized that we’ve got to come out and play with a lot of intensity every game,” Florence coach Drake Stanczak said. “The good thing is that we saw a couple of good teams today, we saw the pressure and next time we play somebody like that, we can make better adjustments and be able to handle it better.”
The Lady Eagles defense came up big against Florence with Rogers using ball pressure on the Lady Buff guards beginning at half-court to force turnovers.
Rogers forced 30 turnovers, including 13 in the first quarter and turned that into 20 points.
“They were really good about scrambling for passes,” Brewer said. “They really went for it and didn’t worry so much about whether they turned the ball over.”
Florence was held to 18 percent (6 for 32) shooting.
After Rogers came up with the first basket of the night, sophomore post Peyton Thomas drove to the bucket to get Florence within a point. The Lady Buffs wouldn’t come close the rest of the night as Rogers scored the next 18 points to take command of the game.
The Lady Buffs begin District 22-2A play Tuesday when they host the Little River-Academy.
“By the time Tuesday rolls around, we’ll have a good idea of our rotation and get a lot of games in,” Stanczak said. “A lot of practice would be good.”
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