Poor start stifles Royals in loss to Crusaders

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 5:30 a.m.CDT
Rob Winner – rwinner@shawmedia.com Marquette's Kendall Kaufmann (left) reaches for a ball controlled by Hinckley-Big Rock's Lauren Paver (right) during the first quarter in Hinckley on Monday, December 2, 2013.

HINCKLEY – One big run can make all the difference. And for the Hinckley-Big Rock girls basketball team, that run didn’t go its way.

With the score tied at the start of the second quarter, Ottawa Marquette closed out the first half on a 21-4 run that spanned nearly six minutes. That run was the difference as the Royals fell, 44-33, in its home opener.

“We had no energy after the first two minutes and dug ourselves too big of a hole to get out of,” H-BR coach Greg Burks said. “Then, in the second half, we got the energy and effort level up. But it was too little, too late.”

The Royals (3-3) were cold in the first half, going 4 for 16 from the field and 3 for 10 from the free-throw line. Andrea Brinkley led H-BR with four points in that half.

“We didn’t shoot the ball at all, we were poor from the free-throw line, and those were coupled with being down double digits,” Burks said. “We missed some easy buckets and some free throws and that didn’t help the matters.”

After the Crusaders pushed the lead to 34-11 in the third quarter, Burks started using a full-court press and it worked. The Royals ended the third quarter on a 13-2 run to close the gap to 12 points. Anne Klein’s four points sparked the run. Lauren Paver capped the spurt and the quarter with a bucket.

“We just picked up the intensity a little bit,” Burks said. “[Our players] know what they are capable of and it is just a matter of doing it on a consistent basis.”

H-BR had the momentum, but the Royals never could get the scoring margin to less than nine points, and Marquette closed out the win.

The Royals had a few chances to keep the third-quarter momentum going but missed four shots and three free throws to open the fourth quarter.

Klein, Jacqueline Madden and Karrigan Cowan led the Royals with seven points each. Madden and Paver each had eight rebounds. The pair also combined for eight steals.

Next for H-BR is Immaculate Conception on Saturday in the Amboy Shootout.

“This team has some experience and they need to understand that we need to come out and play at a high effort level at all times,” Burks said.

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