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Scoring droughts doom Lady Indians

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By Mike Capshaw, Staff Writer

Three long scoring droughts to open three quarters led to the Chiefland Lady Indians ending their season on a losing note in the first round of the 2A District 5 tournament at Hawthorne last Tuesday.

Shooting slumps to start the first, third and fourth quarters were the difference in a 45-25 loss against Hawthorne. 

A rebound stick back by Halie Hammond at the buzzer to end the first quarter prevented the Lady Indians from being completely shut out during the first eight minutes of play. Hammond's bucket made it 10-2.

Then in the third, Chiefland didn't make a field goal until Hammond completed a traditional three-point play with 2:37 remaining in the quarter. Then in the fourth, a bucket by Amber Depew with just over three minutes to play kept the Lady Indians from being shutout in that quarter.

All total, Chiefland's droughts spanned 18 minutes over the three quarters. The Lady Indians were outscored a combined 33-11 during those quarters.

"Rebounding hurt us in the second half. I felt like we didn't rebound the way we should there," said Chiefland first-year coach Sonya Schmidt. "We got down, and it was hard for them to get back mentally into the game, but we kept pumping them up and pumping them up until it was over."

Shyricca Bowers canned a long two-pointer and scored six points to highlight the second quarter when the Lady Indians were only outscored 17-14. Hawthorne hit a bucket just before halftime to take a 27-16 lead.

Senior Amber Richardson continued to play with a ton of heart, despite the game getting out of reach late in the fourth quarter. She dove for loose balls, pressured defenders and kept fighting through the final buzzer.

"She's meant a lot to us," Schmidt said. "At the beginning (of the season) she started out kinda slow and it took her a while to get used to me as a coach. I'll miss her next year. She's one that would get in there and fight for it. She never cared if she got hit or whatever. She'd always be there trying to fight for the ball. I'm proud of her."

Classmate Charlene Davis didn't play until the fourth quarter. She missed Monday’s practice to get an magnetic resonance imaging scan on her knee. She clearly wasn't 100 percent, but still hustled as she hobbled around a bit on the bum knee.

"Charlene is a go-getter," Schmidt said. "She plays hard and she pretty well did what you asked her to do. She would also fight for the ball and never worried about jumping on the floor after loose balls. She'll be missed. 

"I wish we had her at full strength all year."

Chiefland lost 54-29 to Hawthorne earlier in the season, so it improved on that margin of defeat. In that game, scorer Kidijah Bowers was lost for the season to a knee injury. 

It was a season that included a few setbacks, but the team continued to show marked improvement from game to game as it adjusted to a coach who inherited the team just weeks before the regular season tipped off.

"We've made a lot of progress over the course of the year," Schmidt said. "We played well for a while there (against Hawthorne) and kept up with what I consider to be a very good team. They're big and strong, and sometimes were intimidated by that, but we hung in there and done what we should have done. We did have less turnovers than the first tie we played (Hawthorne).

"We could've done more. There's always room for improvement."