Edinburgh’s girls basketball team outplayed visiting South Decatur in nearly every facet of the game Tuesday but couldn’t overcome a flood of turnovers in a 69-57 loss to the Cougars.
The Lancers showed some offensive punch, defensive tenacity, trademark hustle and rebounding prowess that led to a 50-26 advantage on the glass.
But 28 turnovers, many of them unforced, proved to be the Lancers’ undoing as South Decatur found itself on the receiving end of many a layup on the night.
Edinburgh coach Amy Macy lamented her team’s inability to hang on to the basketball.
“That’s been our nemesis all year. Turnovers. They aren’t normally forced, so it’s just mental mistakes. We work on it in practice and the girls keep turning over the ball,” Macy said.
“We make subs if someone turns it over and put someone else in. Then they turn it over. We just have to take care of the ball and quit making stupid mistakes.”
The Lancers fell behind early, mainly due to committing seven turnovers in the game’s opening four minutes. Edinburgh clawed back behind a drive from Brianna Howard, a steal by Mariah Weddle and three field goals from Allie Schooler to take a 12-11 lead after one period.
The turnover bug hit the Lancers again in the second quarter, allowing South Decatur to outscore them 21-9.
Edinburgh had given the ball away 18 times by halftime, while the Cougars were showing an efficient passing game to get open looks at basket and score points.
Edinburgh fell farther behind in the third quarter, again due to a rash of turnovers, especially in its own half of the floor.
As the quarter wound down however, Vanessa Hoskins scored a pair of baskets and Kayli Littiken hit a buzzer-beating 3-point shot to cut the South Decatur lead to 45-39.
While giving the ball away remained a problem for Edinburgh in the fourth quarter, the squad battled back gamely.
Substitute Bailey Woodall hit a pair of short jumpers and Mariah Weddle scored two baskets from in close, one on a gorgeous pass from Schooler to cut the lead to 54-49 with four minutes remaining in the game.
Brianna Howard hit a “3,” and after Weddle pulled down one of her 20 rebounds on the other end, the Lancers had a chance to cut the lead to two. But a turnover ended the possession and South Decatur started making free throws to put the game away.
Schooler led the 1-14 Lancers in scoring with 14 points. Howard added 11 points with nine rebounds, and Weddle scored 10.
Brooke Helms scored 20 points for South Decatur, while Megan Niese had 19.