Freshman Audrey Sidebotham was once again the leading scorer for freshman girls basketball Tuesday night against Ottawa Hills with 14 points. Throughout the night, the girls shot just over 13 percent and couldn’t get their offense going in the 42-29 loss.
“Free throws win games,” said first year head coach Holly Wierenga. “We were 0-10 in the first half from the line. In practice we simulate pressure free throws all the time; we just shoot a ton of free throws. I don’t know if we get nervous or something, but if we would have knocked down those free throws it’s a whole different ball game.”
The Rangers scored the first points of the game with a quick screen from Audrey to set up a wide open layup from freshman Ella Sloat. They were then able to convert on the next possession with a cut from Audrey assisted by Ella for a 4-0 lead. Ottawa Hills was able to close the gap to one, 6-5, at the quarter after many consecutive offensive rebounds and put-backs.
“Rebounding, again we work on it every single day,” said Wierenga. “We tell the girls that we cannot go on the floor for you we can run these drills but you need to want it and you need to get the ball. Rebounds win games, so if we get that to work we can do really well.”
After a couple defensive plays and a buzzer beat, Ottawa Hills took the lead against the Rangers 16-12 at the half.
Coming out of the locker room, the Rangers were able to score on their first possession on a pass from freshman Madeline Knoor to Audrey for an easy two. Ottawa Hills scored 5 consecutive points to give them a 21-14 lead. The Rangers had multiple shot attempts that failed to go down due to being fouled, and unfortunately they were unable to make the shots that followed. Audrey scored 4 more points in the quarter to keep it within 5, 26-21.
The Rangers scored 5 straight points in the fourth to tie it up 26-26. The Bengals, however, started to go on a scoring run with multiple outside shots and fast breaks. This gave the Bengals a 42-29 victory over FHC.
“My team is good,” said Wierenga. “We have a lot of talent and a lot of hard work, we just haven’t gotten all the pieces to fit yet. I hope the next time we see Ottawa Hills we pressure early and keep pressuring, stop their layups and get the rebounds. Now that we know how they play, I think it will be a different story the next time we see them.”