Holy Cross surrendered a seven-point halftime lead and faded down the stretch in a 50-36 loss at South Oldham Wednesday night.
“It was our offense. We weren’t generating any offense, we weren’t running anything correctly,” said Holy Cross head coach Olivia Schum. “We were all cutting to the same spot. There was no spacing. We only scored four points in the third quarter, and that will kill you. I told the girls in the locker room that we need somebody that’s going to step up, take control, and want to score. We lack that right now, and that’s going to happen with a young team.”
The Cougars face the difficult task of replacing four starters from last year’s squad. So there could be some growing pains, especially early in the season.
“My expectations are going to be really, really high,” said Schum. “We clearly can put on a better performance than what we did tonight. That was a very winnable basketball game. Again, with a young team, those inconsistencies are going to happen. The positive thing is that we have twenty-something more games and this is day one, and we only go forward from here.”
Senior Amber Kaufman led Holy Cross with ten points, eight in the first half. Katie Hickey finished with seven points, and Nevaeh Gupton recorded five points.
Leading by seven at halftime, the Cougars built their biggest lead early in the second half when Kaufman’s layup stretched the advantage to nine one minute into the third quarter. However, the momentum soon shifted to South Oldham. The Dragons went on a 12-0 run over five minutes to take their first lead of the game. They outscored the Cougars 14-4 in the third quarter to take a three-point lead with one quarter to go.
“We quit turning the ball over,” said South Oldham head coach Gene Heffington. “We had us charted with 12 at the half and only three in the third quarter. Of course, if you keep the ball, your odds are going up. We stopped turning it over, made some shots, our defense was more solid. I think that turned it a little bit.”
In the fourth quarter, South Oldham pulled away thanks, in part, to free throws. The Dragons scored 11 of their 21 fourth-quarter points from the charity stripe. In contrast, the Cougars were 6-of-15 from the free throw line in the second half.
“That to me is free points,” said Schum. “That’s muscle memory. Those are things you have to knock down and sometimes is the difference in the game.”
Payton Herold led a trio of Dragons in double-figures with 14 points. Skyler Sahatjian and Sierra Kemeglor each scored ten points.
“Consistency is a big thing for us that we want to focus on, on both offense and defense, transition, and mental mistakes. Just basic basketball,” said Heffington.
The Cougars are back in action Friday night in their home opener against Fairdale.