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The holiday break may have been exactly what the doctor ordered as the Elsberry Lady Indians began their new year
winning the consolation trophy after defeating the Winfield Lady Warriors, 55-19 and the Louisiana Lady Bulldogs, 44-32.
Having only lost their first game of the tourney to the Christian Lady Eagles, Lady Indians Head Coach Hector Bencomo said he was not pleased with the girls’ initial performance.
“We started the tournament real flat,” said Bencomo. “Sometimes when you’re on break it can be tough for the kids to play a game in normal time.”
According to Bencomo, his girls were missing lay-ups and overall and just seemed to regress on the fundamentals. “I have to take blame for that,” said Bencomo.
Playing soft and with turnover after turnover, were just a couple of the obstacles Bencomo said they faced against a more prepared Christian team.
“We had our conversation the following day, took a break from one another to regroup and clear our heads so we could play better against our next two opponents,” said Bencomo.
Bencomo said given the situation, he would have rather brought home the consolation trophy, which he felt they earned, than play the top teams, lose and bring home nothing.
“We could have lost two games and earned nothing other than some good experience or stepped it up, which we did and bring home the experience and a trophy,” said Bencomo. “The other positive from the tourney, is our girls showed they could come back from a loss and regroup to win the next two. But again the negative is we didn’t make our goal or earn the right to play any of the top teams.”
During the Winfield game Tanner Bencomo made 16 points, Krista Dye had nine-points and Olivia Brown had 11 pts.
It would seem as though the Elsberry Indians had a rough time adjusting to the new year as they fell to the Winfield Warriors, 69-49. Aaron Aubuchon led Winfield with 22 points followed by David Bauer (16) and Jeremiah Duckett (11 pts.). Aubuchon helped set up the offense with eight assists and Bauer was the top rebounder (8). Aubuchon had four steals.
“I thought we did a good job keeping our composure early,” said Winfield Coach Chuck Arnold. “We were down by a dozen early and never panicked. Our game plan every game is getting better towards districts. We don’t do anything special for particular opponents, just play and improve.”
The Warriors controlled the game in the second period (20-8) and in the final period (18-9) enroute to the win. In the second half, they held a 36-21 scoring edge.
Coach Ryan Parker said things changed for the Indians when Kenny Lesley was forced to the bench early in foul trouble.
“When you begin a game 20-8 and then Kenny picks up his third foul, that is just a game changer for sure,” said Indians Head Coach Ryan Parker. “However, I loved the way our guys battled without Kenny. To only be down five to a really good Winfield team at the half with Lesley only having played four minutes, speaks volumes about our effort.”
However, after coming out cold in the third, to battle back from eight in the fourth, Parker said even though they came out with a loss, he is pleased at the amount of grit and tenacity they showed on the court.
“We didn’t give up,” said Parker. “Once Kenny got his third we could have said, ‘alright the game is over,’ but we didn’t and I loved the energy from our guys showing they were ready to play.”
Among the highlights was freshman Rodney Chatman playing all four quarters and even knocked down a few shots. Parker said he was even impressed at how well Chatman handled the Winfield pressure.
The problem the Indians seem to have, according to Parker, is he never knows what team is going to be walking out on to the court or even into practice day in and night out.
Another issue Parker said they have to work on is keeping themselves out of foul trouble. Having had eight fouls during the Winfield game and Lesley sitting almost the entire first half is not the way to win games.