Offensive lapses, 26 turnovers doom Swedes
The Gothenburg girls were up against a tall and talented Class D-1 No. 2-ranked North Platte St. Patrick’s Irish team last Thursday and lost 54-39.
The Swedes got on the board first with a basket by Regan Geiken but three separate times in the first half Gothenburg went three minutes or more without scoring. Multiple turnovers were a big part of the problem.
Head coach Chris Lecher said the girls got stagnant and almost quit playing offense.
“They quit attacking or going to the basket,” Lecher said.
Causing the disruption was 6-3 St. Pat’s defender Brittany Lawrence who camped in front of the rim for most of the night.
“She changed the way our girls played mentally by just being there,” Lecher said. “She is tall and long but didn’t really do anything.”
While Gothenburg struggled to convert on consecutive possessions, Irish guard Anna O’Malley scored seven of St. Pat’s first 15 points.
Trailing by seven, 15-8, the Swedes traded baskets with the Irish for much of the second quarter.
Unfortunately Gothenburg committed eight fouls and the Irish capitalized at the free throw line shooting 11-14. That extended the lead to 14 after a running three pointer went in for O’Malley putting St. Pat’s ahead 32-18.
Starting the second half Gothenburg hit a pair of baskets, forcing three turnovers on three Irish possessions.
Lecher said the girls played passing lanes and jumped some passes in the team’s “buzz” defense, but converted back-door lay-ins to extend the Irish lead.
“We were being aggressive on the wings but we’d turn our heads and they would slip behind us,” Lecher said. “After Christmas break we’ll spend more time on defense and limiting turnovers.”
The Swedes committed a season-high 26 turnovers in the loss.
Gothenburg closed the lead down to 10 heading into the final quarter of play after an Emily Franzen jumper closed the third quarter.
Trailing 42-32, the Swedes scored on three of their next four possessions shrinking the Irish lead to five, 42-37. Unfortunately, a four-and-a-half minute dry spell allowed St. Pat’s to score eight unanswered points.
The Swedes’ last basket came from Taylor Mroczek with 1:29 left in the game.
Emily Franzen found success outside of the paint for Gothenburg and led the team in scoring with 12 points.
Lecher said she needs to take more shots if she is open.
“She has a good shot, and we’d like for her to hit those 12-foot shots.”