In early December, it took overtime for Badger-Greenbush-Middle River to edge Sacred Heart High School’s girls basketball team 53-47.
Something was different in the rematch Monday.
“We could make more shots back then,’’ Gators coach Brad Dahl said. “We’ve been struggling with our shooting lately.’’
The Gators managed only 15 field goals Monday as Sacred Heart pulled away to a 56-42 win.
“We go on spurts where we can look good,’’ Dahl said. “Defensively, we can create turnovers. But we’re struggling to take advantage of opportunities. We’ve had halfs where we’ve shot only 12 percent from the field.
“Sadly, it’s becoming more typical for us. And it’s high-percentage shots we’re missing. We were shooting better earlier in the year.’’
A long stretch without a B-G-MR field allowed Sacred Heart to pull away.
The Gators were within 36-24 after scoring a close-range field goal with 14:22 left. But B-G-MR went the next 8:44 without a field goal. The Gators managed five free throws while Sacred Heart went on a 16-5 run to build a 23-point lead.
“I think our defense had something to do with that,’’ Eagles coach Blake Karas said. “We’re long. We did a good job of contesting shots. And I think we wore them down. We had good on-ball pressure and we were able to keep them out of the paint for the most part.’’
That defense was sparked by Ivy Edwards and the senior guard’s ball-hawking skills.
“Ivy’s probably the fastest player in our section,’’ Karas said. “Her motor is non-stop. She pressured the ball all over the floor. She took three charges tonight.’’
Edwards scored a game-high 22 points. She had three layups on which she got behind the B-G-MR defense and took long outlet passes from Sydney Lloyd for layups. Maddi Mitzel added 10 points for the 19-6 Eagles.
Karas said offensive execution is a big difference from the earlier loss to the Gators. “We know our offense better now,’’ Karas said. “And we were able to score a lot of points in transition, and with Ivy attacking the basket hard.’’
Badger-G-MR, which dropped to 16-9, was paced by Alyssa Rinde, who scored 10 points.
Sacred Heart and B-G-MR are two of nine teams in Section 8A that have 15 or more wins.
“I’ve never seen a section with the parity we have,’’ Karas said.