Lady Jays fall to Silver Lake
The Lady Jays continued their long stretch of road contests, after finishing with two wins to round out the Burlington Tournament, and traveled to Silver Lake on Friday, Jan. 27, to take on the No. 2 ranked 11-1 Eagles. Sabetha has faced some salty competitors thus far this season and true fans knew that they would come hungry to this match-up. It was a neck and neck battle through the first half with the Lady Jays trailing by 5 points at the half, but the Eagles erupted in the second half and Sabetha fell, 39-62.
“We knew we had our work cut out for us on Friday night at Silver Lake,” said Head Coach Nate Bauman. “They are a great team who placed third in 3A last year and brought all five starters back from that team. We talked about playing with no fear and taking it to them and I thought our girls did exactly that!”
The Bluejays used a zone defense as a buffer to the high powered Eagle’s offense to keep them in check. Sabetha handled Silver Lake’s full court pressure and led their hosts by 1 point at the end of one quarter.
“We started off great with a 14-13 lead after one quarter on baskets from Mikenna Haverkamp, Alexia Hayden, Jessica Gruber and Mary Lukert. Lake found their stride a little in the second quarter and took a 25-20 lead into the half,” Coach Bauman said.
Junior Hayden had 5 points in the first, while seniors Lukert and Haverkamp had 4 and 3 points, respectively, and Gruber had a bucket in the first quarter.
Sabetha extended their lead to start the second quarter as they battled against a quick Eagle man defense. Lukert accounted for all of her team’s 6 points in the second period. Silver Lake would tie the game and had the advantage at halftime, 25-20.
“In the third quarter, they really got hot,” Coach Bauman said. “They have a lot of offensive weapons with a really difficult match-up in the low post, a quality high post player and several girls who can shoot the three with consistency. That makes it very difficult on a defense and they proved to be just that for us. They began the quarter really attacking us with the high-low game and as we adjusted to try to take that away, then they started hitting threes.”
Hayden had a pair of treys in the third quarter, Lukert had 2 points and senior Carly Hartter hit two free throws. Silver Lake put up 21 points in the frame and Sabetha trailed 46-30 at the end of the period.
Sabetha played full throttle the entire game, but they just could not match shot for shot down the stretch. Gruber had 5 points in the fourth, senior Halle Scoby had a bucket, as did sophomore Audrey Herrmann, but the Bluejays would fall to the Eagles, 39-62.
“I was really proud of the way our girls continued to battle and respond, it was just difficult to keep pace with their scoring in the second half,” Coach Bauman said. “I’ve always believed you are either winning or you are learning, but I also believe it takes a really mature and mentally tough team to actually do that. We have that this year and I know we will take these lessons with us the rest of the season and into the post-season.”
Lukert led all scorers with 12 points and Hayden finished with 11 points. Sabetha fell to 7-6 overall, but would return to Big Seven competition when they traveled to Riverside on Tuesday, Jan. 31, and will host the Royal Valley Panthers on Friday, Feb. 3. These results were not available at The Herald’s press time.