Lady Rams Fall Short in Home Finale to Bountiful
February 15, 2017
Filed under Sports
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Carrying just one region loss into their last real test of the season, the lady Rams were hopeful for a good outcome against the tough, but beatable, Bountiful Braves Tuesday night. Usually, in a game of stout defense and scarce points, the Rams would come out winning, but fourth quarter struggles proved fatal as Highland failed to pull out the win.
The lady Rams fell 36-33 to the Braves, being outscored in the fourth quarter 13-4. A defensive battle all game long, Highland struggled to find a rhythm on the offensive side for almost the entirety of the first half. Senior Alex Debow saved multiple lost possessions in the first quarter, coming up clutch with deep three-pointers to keep the Rams within striking distance. However, Debow was also tasked with guarding the Braves leading scorer, Jaimee Stahle. An injury took her out of the previous game against Highland on their home floor, so the rams were seeing her for the first time, which didn’t help their case. The junior who averages over 15 points a game came into Highland and put down a game-high 14, four of which that came in the final two minutes. Despite picking up a tough role on the defensive side, Debow showed toughness as she added 12 of her own on the offensive side, yet there is still a team toughness that is lacking, she believes.
“We need to improve on all-around energy and mentality.” Debow said. “We can’t be a team that just doesn’t take this stuff seriously or isn’t prepared.”
It was clear that they weren’t ready for Stahle, but the lady Rams had many chances to put the game away late in the fourth quarter. A strong start to the second half gave Highland the momentum as the pace picked up and transition points came easier off Bountiful turnovers. Debow controlled the offense while also picking up a few steals on the other end, but the lady Rams found themselves in foul trouble late at the end of the third quarter, where they now lead 29-23.
This foul trouble might have affected the resistance of the defense as the Rams were hesitant to put the Braves to the line after putting them in the penalty. The defense backed off for Highland, as the offense got aggressive for the Braves. The six-point lead was quickly diminished and Bountiful started to heat up from outside. Just like that their lead turned to a two-point deficit, with only 40 seconds remaining. An open hook shot from Freshman Keija Glaskar with 20 seconds remaining looked promising, but after it rimmed out, chances were slim for the lady Rams to complete the comeback. The Braves were put back to the line and added one more point to their lead. Ten seconds was not enough for Highland to take it full court and get an open shot, so they fell by three.
“We aren’t going to be first place, but second place still isn’t bad.” Debow said. “But if we want to go far this year, we have to get stronger mentally, and individually, so that we can come together and be a stronger team.”
This loss doesn’t hurt the Rams in terms of the region standings, but it does take away from the run that they have built upon throughout region play. Highland will close out the regular season at Woods Cross this Thursday the 16th.