Elsberry Lady Indians Guard Tanner Bencomo looks for one of her teammates in the loss to Clopton.
The Lady Indians may have been eager to play against the Clopton Lady Hawks, but according to Head Coach Hector Bencomo, they weren’t prepared for the 64-48 loss they suffered Thursday night.
“Things went slightly to plan for two of the four quarters,” said Bencomo. “Our plan was simple; play our kind of ball. We did so until the third quarter and things went a different direction.”
According to Bencomo, the third quarter summed up the nights fate. At the half, the Lady Indians were only down by five points. By the end of the third they were down by approximately 30.
“The third quarter for us seems to be a difficult period,” said Bencomo after explaining that both season losses were due to a third quarter rush. “It’s something we need to get over, especially if we want to be a good competing team.”
As Clopton entered the court, after half time, Bencomo said they had a different feel to them. According to him, they came out playing more of a physical game; one that players like Passion Hunter-Edwards and Brittni Hagemeier will not soon forget.
“Our girls were getting hit and hit hard,” said Bencomo. “I’m just thankful our girls are more restrained, because it could have been a much different night.”
Bencomo said he understands the physical game, as he is a fan of that sort of play. However, what he saw was border line foul-able and the calls just weren’t falling into our favor. By the end of the night, the Lady Indians had a score of 25 fouls, with one technical, which came after Bencomo asked if the referee was blind.
“Of course as coaches we are bias,” said Bencomo. “But that doesn’t excuse the fact that if we barely touched them, foul call; they almost murder us and nothing gets called,” said Bencomo. “Having said that, and I know it’s going to sound off, but I have never blamed our losses on anyone but ourselves and I will not start now.”
Part of the problem, as he saw it, was finding their rhythm as a team and not reading the game correctly.
“Good teams will find a way to not only beat the team in front of them, but the referees as well,” said Bencomo. “We need to learn that if a team comes at us with fire, we have to fight back with fire and we did not physically compete with Clopton. They took us off our game and came away with the win.”
Going forward the Lady Indians are taking a little break for the holidays. During that time, Bencomo said he hopes they come ready for practice and back on their game.
“We need to be ready to play man-to-man defense and we have the time needed to refine our plays and strategies,” said Bencomo. “We’re a good team and although it doesn’t reflect sometimes, we play hard and strive to get better each game.”
The Ladies Indians will take on the Wellsville Lady Tigers at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 3.