KRUM — Krum coach Lana Degelia didn’t see anything wrong with the Lady Bobcats’ grueling nondistrict schedule last season, and she’s not about to change anything now.
The longtime coach said it’s this year’s same rough schedule that will pay huge dividends later in the season when the Lady Bobcats could be fighting for a playoff spot. In the meantime, though, Krum (0-2) is still searching for its first win after Tuesday’s 51-42 home loss to Lucas Lovejoy.
“I kept that championship schedule because I know the potential of these girls,” Degelia said. “I’m certainly not going to bail on them now. The one thing I told them is they have to understand they are right there. They played right there with two really good teams. It’s not what our record is now; it’s what that record is in January and they just have to keep fighting. We’ve still got some maturity to do as a team, though, and the last four minutes of tonight’s game proved that.”
The Lady Bobcats didn’t return a single starter from last year’s 29-7 Class 3A state semifinalist team and opened this year with a loss to Liberty Christian. The growing pains showed again against Lovejoy (1-0).
The Lady Leopards never trailed while getting 18 points from Paige Eberhart and 16 points from Samantha Odom.
Caylee Thomas and Kylee Myers each scored 14 points to lead Krum. Brianna Torres added seven points.
With 2:04 left in the third quarter, Torres pulled Krum to within one point as part of an 8-2 run. But Lovejoy went on its own 15-6 run that bled into the fourth quarter. The run gave the Lady Leopards a nine-point lead they never relinquished.
That was the way the night went for Krum. Trailing by four after the first eight minutes of play, Myers and MacKenzie Ripple hit back-to-back jumpers to tie the game at 16 one minute into the second quarter. Krum only trailed by three after a 3-pointer from Thomas a few minutes later, but Lovejoy scored two straight buckets to take a 29-22 lead into the break.
Krum continued to fight and narrowed the gap to as little as four points late in the fourth quarter, but never got any closer. Eberhart’s third 3-pointer of the game midway through the final frame gave the Lady Leopards a 44-37 lead and kicked off an 8-3 run for a nine-point lead with just under a minute left.
“That’s the inexperience right there. The game for most of these girls is at a different pace right now,” Degelia said. “We have two returners and they are playing more minutes than they ever had before. And then we’ve got some new girls who are learning as they go for the first time. But with more minutes and experience against these good teams, all these girls will get better.”