The early-season frustrations continued Saturday for the Hampshire girls basketball team, but the Whip-Purs are getting closer.
When they put four quarters together, they'll surely help coach Ed Haugens from scratching his head.
That day wasn't Saturday, when the Whip-Purs fell behind big early, battled back to take a lead, and then wasted too many good scoring chances down the stretch in a 45-42 loss to McHenry at the Dundee-Crown Thanksgiving tournament.
The loss left Hampshire at 0-3 for the season for the first time since the 2005-06 team started 0-5.
"That's two games in a row we missed some good opportunities," said Haugens. "What's killing us is getting in a big hole early. We're just not playing four quarters of basketball and we're not consistent. We have to learn to finish."
The Whips had that chance against a taller McHenry team, battling back from as much as a 12-point deficit to grab a 28-24 lead with 6:11 left in the third quarter when 2 free throws from junior Jen Dumoulin gave Hampshire a 28-24 lead and culminated a 12-0 Hampshire run that started late in the second quarter.
The remainder of the seesaw battle saw four ties and seven lead changes until McHenry (1-2) finally forget ahead for good, 39-38 on a 3-pointer from Laura D'Angelo with 4:39 to play. Hampshire closed to win one for the last time at 43-42 on a steal and layup from Grace Jakubowski with 1:01 left but Megan Wisemann took a nice feed from Megan Martell with 43 seconds to go to give McHenry a 45-42 lead and Jakubowski's 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie was deflected by D'Angelo to give the Warriors the win.
"They're still learning and maturing and learning new parts and new roles," said Haugens of his team. "We've gotten better in the three games we've played and this tournament will make us better for the conference season."
While Hampshire, which shot 17-for-41, turned the ball over 26 times, the Whips' pressure defense harassed McHenry into 29 turnovers. The Warriors, though, made 17 of 32 from the field, including 5 of 6 in the second half. They also buried five 3-pointers.
Jen Dumoulin led Hampshire with 11 points, while 5-foot-10 junior Elizabeth Panzica continued to impress, scoring 10 points and grabbing 5 rebounds.
"She understands her role and she's done a great job so far," Haugens said of Panzica.
Tiffany Bentley added 9 points for Hampshire, all in the first half, and Michelle Dumoulin had 8. Martell led McHenry with 12 points and Wiesemann added 11.