Class B No. 10 Beatrice hung tough with Class B No. 7 Crete for three quarters Thursday night, but the Lady Cardinals pulled away in the fourth.
Crete defeated Beatrice 48-34 at the Ozone in Beatrice. First year head coach Jalen Weeks said they knew going in that the Cardinals would be a tough opponent.
“They’ve got a girl who just two days ago committed to Creighton, so that makes it tough,” Weeks said. “These girls have played her the last two years and this year, she’s no easier to guard.”
Week said he felt his team did a good job of adjusting throughout the game to the different offenses Crete threw at them.
“WE switched up our defense and I think we did a good job,” Weeks said. “We just can’t help up as much and give them easy baskets. Other than that, I think we did a good job.”
Crete, who is known for their size inside, did most of their damage in the first half from the three point line.
Hatcliff had 11 points in the game – eight of which came in the first half. Leners also had 11 points for the Lady O.
On Beatrice’s first possession of the game, they worked the ball around the floor for more than three minutes before Mak Hatcliff found an open three pointer and knocked it down, giving the Lady O an early 3-0 lead.
Crete immediately answered with a three pointer of its own, but Hatcliff would score again off an assist from Addie Barnard, making it 5-3. One more three pointer by Crete concluded the first quarter scoring with Crete leading.
The Lady Cardinals scored the first five points of the second quarter to extend their lead to 11-5. Carley Leners ended the run with a basket, but Crete scored the next five points to make it 16-7.
A three pointer by Hatcliff and two free throws by Leners cut the Lady O deficit to four. Crete knocked down a free throw, by Hannah Lytle came back with a three pointer to make it 17-15. Crete score the last points of the second quarter, making it 19-15 at the half.
Alexis Schwartz opened the second half scoring with a putback basket, but Crete came back with a three pointer to make it 22-17.
A basket and a free throw by leners and a three pointer by Olivia Aden gave the Lady O the lead 23-22. Crete got the lead back with two straight free throws, but another three pointer by Hatcliff gave Beatrice a 26-24 lead.
Crete tied it with a basket, but Aden answered with a basket to give the Lady O the lead back at 28-26. Crete ended the third quarter on a 6-0 run – all from the free throw line, making it 32-28 going into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Cardinals scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to extend their lead to 37-28. Leners ended the run with a basket and then answered to Crete free throws to make it 39-32.
Barnard then scored to make it 39-34, but Crete finished the game on a 9-0 run to win 48-34.
Weeks said offensively, they have to do a better job of attacking the zone defense.
“We did too much holding the ball,” Weeks said. “We have to make them work harder on defense than what we did tonight.”
In addition to Hatcliff and Leners, Aden had five points, Lytle had three points and Schwartz and Barnard had two points each.
The Lady O, now 1-1 on the season, will be in action again Friday night when they travel to Auburn.
The Beatrice boys team also played Crete Friday night. That game wasn’t over by press time. For those results, see beatricedailysun.com or Saturday’s print edition.