CENTERBURG — The Centerburg Trojans girls basketball team has averaged over 70 points per game this season.
After Wednesday’s showdown with Bishop Hartley, that average fell.
The Trojans could find no answers for the Hawks’ solid defense as they lost, 59-42, in the first round of the Shelley Whited Centerburg Holiday Classic.
Centerburg found it couldn’t run against Hartley’s quick defenders. Nor did the Trojans find consistent success going to the post. Although the team kept the game close in the first half with decent outside shooting, the Hawks were too much in the end.
Hartley was led by the aggressiveness of sophomores Jyla Hicks and Jaana Motton, both of whom excel at driving to the lane and crashing the boards. They had lots of success on Wednesday; the two combined for 25 rebounds. Overall, Hartley had a 41-25 rebounding advantage in the game.
Height wasn’t the problem for the Trojans. Sophomores Tristen Simpson (6-foot-1) and Stacy Fielding (5-foot-10) match the height of Hicks and Motton, respectively.
“I didn’t see any mental toughness,” Centerburg head basketball coach Todd Nauman said. “They (Hartley) were blocking shots and gaining confidence. We let it build up, and then we became passive. There wasn’t that fire in their eyes that we’ve had against some of the other teams we’ve played.”