By Steven Kochersperger
History seemed to repeat itself for the Mount Vernon Wildcat girls’ basketball team this week. For the second year in a row the Lady Cats entered sectional play with high hopes, this year entering the post season with the best record in Mount Vernon girls’ basketball history. And in what looked to be the toughest opening round draw in the area the Wildcats did all they could but could not rebound from a third quarter Bosse run and lost the game 44-39.
“We just didn’t shoot the ball very well tonight,” Wildcat coach Steve Mitchell said after the game.” We had a couple of turnovers in bad situations and were timid offensively at times. The third quarter dry spell we had really hurt us and that really set the tone for the fourth quarter. I think our defense was good for the most part but offensively we couldn’t get it together like we wanted.”
The game opened nicely for the Wildcats as senior Jade Dixon hit a three pointer to give the Cats the lead in the opening period of play. Mount Vernon was able to build on that lead and took a 12-7 lead into the second period. The mixture of Bosse’s defensive effort and Mount Vernon’s lack of offensive rhythm led the Bulldogs to close in late in the second period but the Wildcats hung on to a two point lead at the half 19-17.
However, it was the third quarter that made the difference in the game. Just a few minutes into the third period Bosse senior Janisha Lindsey hit a three pointer to give the Bosse Bulldogs their first lead of the game. Lindsay would be a big factor in the game for the Bulldogs scoring 33 points to lead the team. Bosse took Lindsay’s great play and went on a 13-0 run that put the Bulldogs up big and put Mount Vernon in a big hole 32-21 with just two minutes to play in the quarter. The Wildcats would answer with a 7-0 run to answer the Bulldogs and were able to eventually tie the game in the fourth period at 37-37 when senior Jacey Ritzert hit a layup with 3:23 left in the game. But Bosse not only continued to hit timely shots but also hit their free throws down the stretch and hung on to beat Mount Vernon 44-39.
The loss ends the season for the Wildcats with an overall record of 16-5. The loss ends a great four years for seniors Jacey Ritzert, Jade Dixon, Lauren Stemple, and Rachel Cash. An emotional Mitchell felt bad about the loss for the seniors and sang their praises after Tuesday’s loss.
“I feel terrible for the seniors,” Mitchell said.” They mean so much to this program and have won a lot of games here. I just wish we could have advanced for their sake.”
The Wildcats were led in scoring by junior Ellen Foster who had 13 in the contest. Freshman Alexis Nall had nine for the Cats and senior Lauren Stemple had seven.
And while the Wildcats are not pleased that their season has come to an end, the future is bright for the girls’ basketball program. All three girls’ teams had record years with the varsity at 16-5, JV at 17-2 on the year, and the freshman team undefeated to end the season.
By Steven Kochersperger
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