Following a long holiday layoff, the Crowder Lady ‘Riders basketball team got back on the court for the first time in 12 days Thursday, facing the ranked Butler (Kan.) Lady Grizzlies at Bob Sneller Gymnasium.
Despite looking like a team that could hang with the No. 8 nationally ranked Lady Grizzlies for the first 9 minutes, things began to take a sharp turn south with about 11 minutes to go in the first half and Butler stomped its way to an 80-59 victory.
Early on the Lady ‘Riders looked like a team equipped to hand the Lady Grizzlies (15-1) their second loss of the season. But their time away from the court started to take a toll on the Lady ‘Riders with 11 minutes to go in the first half as they began to turn the ball over, missed seemingly easy shots and watched as Butler stormed off on a 20-2 run. The Lady Grizzlies closed the half on a 27-5 burst to take it from 20-19, to 47-25, Butler, at halftime.
“I told our kids that what we need to learn from this game is, number one, I’m very disappointed in the fact that they didn’t work out over the break and they came back out of shape,” Crowder coach Tina Robbins said. “We played with them. We played really well for about eight to 10 minutes and then fatigue sat in because we’re not game shape at all. And then we started making turnovers and silly fouls and it ballooned from there.”
After Crowder’s Katie Hughes hit a jumper to start the second half, the Lady Grizzlies went on a 10-0 run, and later a 9-0 run, to extend their lead to 66-32. The Lady ‘Riders (6-9) closed the contest on a 9-0 run.
If nothing else, Robbins hopes this game helped drive home the importance of hard work to her team while also helping them get their legs back for the brutal stretch of games to come. Crowder bounces back to entertain Independence at 2 p.m. Saturday, before hosting Seminole in a make-up game on Monday and Iowa Western on Wednesday, both at 6 p.m., respectively.
“We have a makeup game on Monday, so I don’t like our schedule because of that,” Robbins said. “We play six games in 13 days, basically, so we can’t do anything extra or we’re not going to have (fresh) legs. We just go through our normal routine of things and come back and practice tomorrow and get ready for Independence on Saturday.”
Te’era Williams led the Lady Grizzlies with 19 points, including 15 in the first half. Shayla Williams scored 12 of her 15 points in the first half and teammate Ashley Gibson followed with 13. Ashlee Ivy had 10 points for Butler, while Alli Heimerman netted six, Kynadi Johnson five and Chelsea Hodison, Bethany Howard and Shelbe VandeBerghe added four.
Page 2 of 2 - Dorian Briggs heated up for the Lady ‘Riders in the second half, hitting four 3-pointers late in the game to lead all scorers with 21 points. Courtney Jones rattled in 11 points, while Ariana Gallegos finished with seven, Katie Hughes and Tiffany Rhame contributed five, Tae’lor Monroe four, Thays Barbosa three and Lori Kleier two.
This was the second meeting of the season between the foes, with Butler winning 84-54 at home in El Dorado, Kan., back on Nov. 23.