Hart girls hoops can’t recover from ugly start against La Salle

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The Hart girls basketball team continued play in the John Burroughs Tournament, drawing the La Salle Lancers at Burroughs High School on Friday.

It was evident that the Indians wanted to get the ball down low to either one of their bigs — Evelin Herrera or sophomore Kayla Hourigan — and kept trying to get the ball into the paint.

But due to the Lancers’ in-your-face defense, Hart ended up turning the ball over at a tremendous rate, while La Salle knocked down perimeter shot after perimeter shot.

That was the theme throughout the first half as the Indians went down by double digits early and were never able to recover to fall, 53-32.

“We came out flat and we talked about energy. We have 15 kids, so if one person doesn’t have it someone else should,” said Hart head coach Terra Palmer. “We didn’t communicate well, it’s like target practice when you’re able to run everything you want to run because we aren’t doing anything to disrupt it.”

The Indians began the match with an up-tempo style of play, which the Lancers quickly capitalized on, hitting three 3’s in the frame to jump out to 16-8 lead in the first quarter.

The hot shooting continued into the second quarter as the Lancers hit two back-to-back 3’s to extend the lead to 14 points, ahead 22-8 just a minute into the quarter.

“We were on a five-game winning streak and we were feeling ourselves a little bit, and sometimes you get the idea that your way is the way until someone tells you it’s not,” Palmer said. “We had to refocus and actually do what we do and because of that we didn’t get good looks, get into a rhythm and they got easy looks.”

In the second quarter, Indians guards Leila Uribe and Emma Allen took turns leading the offense down the court by penetrating and finding the open shooter, but the shots just wouldn’t fall for the Indians.

Late in the quarter, Allen hit a 3-pointer to cut La Salle’s lead to 27-11.

Using high-level ball-handling skills, La Salle answered with a 9-1 run to take a 36-12 lead with under a minute left.

The Lancers hit 10 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 12 in the game.

After halftime, the Indians ramped up their defensive pressure and held the Lancers to eight points, their lowest scoring quarter thus far.

“All it really was, was communication,” Palmer said. “We ran the same defense that we ran in the first half only we were talking through it and we were active, aggressive and had more energy. I really am encouraged with the second half in general and a lot of the second half was the younger kids and they are hungry.”

But with such a big halftime deficit, Hart couldn’t score enough points to get within single digits.

The Indians’ defensive play intensified in the fourth as they held La Salle to just three points, but still fell by 20.

Evelin Herrera led Hart in scoring with seven points and Laney Grider and Emma Allen each scored six points.

Sophomores Kayla Hourigan and Mia Sevidal chipped in with five and four points, respectively.

Hart plays tomorrow at 1 p.m. or 4:30 p.m against an opponent yet to be decided.

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