By Amy Rutledge
“We just didn’t have a good first half,” said North Olmsted head coach Cheryl Bansek. “The little things hurt us. I thought we battled in the second half – (we) gave up the lead though.
“That’s what happens when you let the games be close in the first half.”
North Olmsted held on to the lead during most of the game and finished each quarter in control, but was unable to execute and finish at the end of the fourth quarter.
With only one minute left in the game, and the Eagles up by five points, two successful shots by Avon tied the game and put the pressure on North Olmsted. North Olmsted’s last chance at victory was taken away after North Olmsted lost possession of the ball and Avon scored off the steal.
With half a second left on the clock, North Olmsted used all the timeouts they had left, but didn’t have enough time to make anything happen on the court.
“I told them to take care of the ball on offense and don’t foul on defense, stay fundamentally sound and lead on the principals of who we are,” Bansek said.
Tara Kelley lead the Eagles with 11 points.
“She (Kelley) got into a little foul trouble and that hurt us,” Bansek stated. “They (Avon) did a good job on keying in on Megan (Branchick), but then other things didn’t step up.
“Second shots for us, was an issue. They did a nice job of boxing us out,” she added. “We did improve on that a little bit in the second half. Those are the little things that become big things.”
“I tell them the same thing whether we win or lose. We are a team that needs to get back in the gym tomorrow and continue to get better. We are in a rebuilding phase and we cannot beat ourselves up over the fact that we lost this game. We really felt like we should have won it, but it is what it is so if we beat ourselves up about it tomorrow will not be productive. The next day always has to be productive,” she said.
The Eagles (5-5, 2-4 in the Southwestern Conference) still have their sights set on competing for a district championship.
“I think we’re growing,” Bansek said. “As long as we continue to grow and get better every day I think we’re moving in the right direction. We are constantly re-assessing. We are looking to win a district championship this year. Our goal is to continue to get better and we have to have a decent record going in so we can be seeded. We thought today this game was important for seeding, but we’re going to keep plugging away at it every day.”