National Trail’s girls’ basketball team had not played a game in 15 days, and the signs of rust showed when the Blazers finally took to the court Saturday, Jan, 4, at Union County, Ind.
The Blazers fell behind 10-0 and never completely recovered in suffering a 51-44 setback.
“We start off the new year the way we left the old one, just getting out to another slow start. We weren’t able to get anything going in the first quarter and most of the second,” Trail coach Troy Ferguson said.
Peyton Laird, who scored eight points on the night, broke the ice for Trail, scoring the only two points of the opening quarter for Trail.
Trail cut the Patriots’ lead to five (32-27) by then end of the third quarter and got within a point at 36-35 early in the fourth.
“(In) the third quarter we started to get going a little and took better care of the ball and were able to get to within one,” Ferguson said. “We had a couple of possessions where we had a chance to take the lead but we couldn’t get that key bucket.”
Part of the issue was the Blazers Kate Deaton had picked up her fourth foul late in the third quarter.
“Kate had to sit after getting called for her fourth foul late in the third quarter which really hurt us offensively as she had really been playing well,” Ferguson said.
Deaton finished the game with 18 point and grabbed five rebounds.
Miranda Mize kept her team in the game, scoring 15 points, dishing out five assists and collecting five steals.
“We went with Kate again about half way through the fourth and she added four of her game high 18 points in the short stretch before she had a put back waved off on an over the back call,” Ferguson said. “From there we tried putting them on the line to extend the game and to their credit they hit the free throws.”
Andrea Hunt scored three points and grabbed five rebounds, while Lexi Acton pulled down seven rebounds and blocked four shots.
Trail (2-6) had not played a game since Dec. 19.
“After the long lay off I thought we’d had a good day of practice Friday to prepare for this one but we couldn’t shake off the rust,” Ferguson said. “We have to keep working on things and continue working to get better as things aren’t going to get any easier from here schedule wise.”
Trail was scheduled to host Eaton Monday, Jan. 6 and Carlisle on Tuesday, before hosting Tri-Village on Thursday and Northridge on Monday, Jan. 13.