ELDORA When the Tigers weren't stopping themselves, they found some quality shots Monday night.
Unfortunately even those were hard for the South Hardin girls basketball team (0-2) to convert in a 49-35 non-conference loss to Iowa Falls-Alden.
"(Iowa Falls-Alden's) best defense was us," said Tigers coach Matt Thompson.
T-R PHOTO BY TYLER STRAND
South Hardin’s Sabrina DeHerrera (22) has the ball knocked loose on a drive to the basket as the Cadets’ Lindsay Barnhart (11) and Jamie Peterson, right, defends on the play. The Cadets won 49-35 to hand the Tigers (0-2) their ninth straight loss dating back to last season.
"We had mental breakdowns lots of times and that hurt us."
Dropping its ninth straight dating back to last season, the Tigers were plagued by turnovers from the beginning as they fell into an early 11-1 hole and didn't score their first field goal until seven minutes in. A 3 from Clair Damon, her first of four on the evening, along with a putback from Julie Schwartz pulled South Hardin within 11-8 early in the second, but the Cadets (1-0) outscored the Tigers 14-2 in the final seven minutes of the half to take a 25-10 advantage into the break.
Implementing a box and one defense after halftime, the Tigers held Cadets sharpshooter Jamie Petersen scoreless in the second half. Iowa Falls-Alden was limited to just four points over the first four minutes of the third, though South Hardin failed to capitalize tallying just four points of its own during the stretch as their transition game never got going.
"We're not getting the ball up the floor as fast as we want and we're not pushing it as well as we want to. When we're not doing those things, it's throwing our entire game off," said Thompson.
Even when the game slowed down, the Tigers couldn't connect making just 8-of-22 free throw attempts as the Cadets' lead never dipped below 13 in the final 16 minutes.
Propelled by three triples from Damon, the Tigers' offense finally got on track in the fourth but it was too little too late. Damon finished with a game-high 12 points, while Alyx Staples added five points and Cami Eller pulled down seven rebounds.
Cadet freshman Saje Ites paced the visitors with 10 points.
Iowa Falls-Alden held its largest lead at 47-24 before Damon buried back-to-back triples and Sarah Boomgarden and Haley Lawrence each added three-point plays to highlight an 11-2 burst from the Tigers to close the contest.
"Our defense was pretty good for the most part," said Thompson.
The Tigers host GMG (0-1) Tuesday at 8 p.m.