It might be just a matter of time before Neuqua Valley turns around its girls basketball season, but the Wildcats' time didn't come Friday.
The Wildcats lost to a strong Bradley-Bourbonnais squad 41-28 at Hinsdale South's Hornet Tip Off Tournament, and to make matters worse they lost senior Megan Keefer early in the game to a leg injury.
"I think we need another win," Wildcats senior Makinzie DeHaan said. "We need another win. We're kind of in a funk now. If we get past this I think we'll be fine. We're also in like a rebuilding stage, so we just got to figure ourselves out as a team and as a program, and once we get past that I think we'll be pretty good."
Bradley-Bourbonnais took a 16-6 lead after one quarter and never looked back. By the end of the third quarter they led 37-17.
The Boilers' half-court and three-quarters court traps caused the Wildcats (1-4) problems offensively.
"It was pretty difficult because we had to figure out as a team how we were going to break the press," DeHaan said. "Somehow they managed to get to both sides of the court really quickly. They were a very athletic team."
"We knew it was coming," Williams added. "We knew exactly what they were going to do. Again it comes down to a couple of kids making the right decisions. At this point it's more mental than anything. Losing your two stud point guards (graduated seniors Myia Starks and Kai Moon) and counting on other kids to step up, well, it's easy to say. But actually when you play, it's harder to do.
"But sooner or later they'll figure it out, and next year we'll be even more experienced. But hopefully by Christmas we'll get it figured out and get some things ironed out and go from there."
The Wildcats committed 25 turnovers. They made just 9 of 45 shots in the game.
"I think not finishing is what killed us," DeHaan said. "I think if we had finished we could have had this game, but sometimes the shots just aren't falling."
Junior guard Megan Callahan led the Wildcats with 13 points.
"We don't have experience," Williams said. "You have one or two options as a coach. You can go completely berserk and beat them into the ground or you can cultivate and hopefully by midseason they figure out some things. I mean it's not like they're not getting shots. ... It's just tough. You can't beat a good team doing that."
Evey Evans led Bradley-Bourbonnais with 13 points.
Montini 72, Oak Park 39:
Junior center Lindsey Jarosinski scored 19 points, senior guard Kaylee Bambule added 12 and junior forward Aaliyah Patty scored 11 for the Broncos, who will play in the Hinsdale South tournament championship game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
"It was good to see Lindsey get going a little bit because she's been dragging early in the year, hasn't been very aggressive," Broncos coach Jason Nichols said, "and I thought today was her best game and her best effort, and it resulted in a pretty good stat line. I thought she had a great night."
The Broncos will be without senior guard Nikki Oppenheimer, a Syracuse recruit, for about a month due to a knee injury.
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