Saturday, February 24, 2018

Hardin post player Aiyanna Ereaux controls the ball and avoids a player from the Billings Central Rams during a Saturday evening away game.

Lady Bulldogs block guards, but fail to overtake Billings Central for a 47-49 loss

Two points were all that separated Hardin’s Lady Bulldog basketball team from the Billings Central Rams in a Saturday evening away game – unfortunately for the Ladies, those points weren’t on their side of the scoreboard as the final buzzer rang.
 
Hardin and Central, in the past two games, have developed into an evenly-matched set. Both teams often operate using a one-on-one defense and full-court press, and both have defeated the other by 2 points over the past month: Hardin won 66-64 in double overtime on Jan. 6 and Central won this time 49-47.
 
Central’s playing style started – unusually – zone-to-zone for the first half, but they then switched back to player-to-player.
 
While the Ladies’ defense was effective against the Rams’ post players, Hardin Head Coach Cindy Farmer said, they allowed other Central opponents to slip through. About 15 points, she added, were scored against the Ladies due to 22 turnovers by Central.
 
“We limited their inside post players – who score in double figures – to 7 and 2 points,” Farmer said, “but then we let their guard score 18.”
 
The Ladies also lacked in field goal percentage, according to Farmer, at a total success rate of 32 percent. On top of this, Farmer said – “believe it or not” – the Ladies had no opportunities to shoot free throws in the first half.
 
In the third quarter, the Ladies shot 85 percent, Farmer said. Of their 11 free throws in the fourth quarter, however, they only made six, or 55 percent. Hardin guard Karissa DuShane was crucial to the team’s Jan. 6 win, but missed her four free throws this time around.
 
Total free throw percentage was 12 of 19 shots, or 63 percent.
 
Despite their difficulties, Farmer said, her team still “had a chance” of winning that game – they were up by 8 points, then down by 8, then they moved their way to the final score.
 
Guard player Sharmayne Hardy was the top shooter for the Ladies with 13 points, followed fellow guard Ivery Fritzler with 8.
 
This week, Farmer said, her team will be focusing on handling the ball, avoiding turnovers and shooting free throws.
 
They face the Lodge Grass Lady Indians at home on Thursday.
 
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