Lancers can’t get shots to fall, bow out of tourney with loss to Jackets

MORRISTOWN — The Morristown girls basketball team rolled over Edinburgh by 32 points in mid-January. But that’s not the game Yellow Jackets coach Bryan Wolfe wanted his girls to remember.

Edinburgh had also rallied and beaten host Morristown by six points in overtime in the 2016 sectional final.

“I pointed it out about 20 times this week,” Wolfe said of that loss. “We had them by 10 points in the fourth quarter last year and let it go. This was more about finishing the game and hitting our free throws. I think we did that.”

The host Yellow Jackets knocked off Edinburgh 59-36 in the Class A Sectional 59 semifinals on Friday night. The Yellow Jackets (15-8) will face Indianapolis Lutheran (12-11) in the championship.

Morristown topped Lutheran 63-50 on Jan. 26.

“Our girls played hard all the way to end,” said Edinburgh coach Amy Macy-Schilling, whose team finished with an 8-15 record. “It was one of these nights where no one really had an outstanding night. You hate that it’s in sectional, but we couldn’t get shots to fall. It was one of those games. You just hate for it to be our last game.”

Morristown led 29-18 at halftime, but pulled away with its inside game in the second half. Katheryn Parker scored 10 points of her team-high 15 points in the third quarter as the Yellow Jackets used a 17-7 surge to pull away for a 46-25 lead after three quarters.

“(Assistant coach) Chad McMichael and I were seeing openings in the post but we weren’t looking for inside,” Wolfe said. “At halftime, we emphasized looking for it and Katheryn really exploded. She finished her layups at the rim and that gave us a solid spurt there.”

Edinburgh committed 23 turnovers, three more than Morristown.

“We run a pressure defense,” Wolfe said. “A lot of teams have adjusted to that, but on the flip side I can’t pull it off because if we don’t pressure we don’t play very good defense.”

Macy-Schilling said the Yellow Jackets were intense the entire way.

“We had problems at first with their pressure,” she said. “We did a better job handling it in the second half. I told the seniors coming from where they were as freshmen, when we averaged 40 turnovers a game, to what we are now, we’ve come a long way. We just needed more confidence with our ball handling. That will come; I have young guards.”

Macy-Schilling said the team will miss seniors Brianna Howard, Abigail Scrogham and Allie Schooler.

Schooler delivered a team-high 15 points for the Lancers.

“The seniors played hard and did everything I asked,” Macy-Schilling said. “We’ll miss them, but I think they set a good example for the younger girls as far as work ethic. They set the example that we’re going to work hard all the time.”

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Mark Ambrogi is a sports correspondent for the Daily Journal.