Though it struggled throughout the second half, the Edinburgh girls basketball team had chances to win Saturday’s semifinal of the Class A Morristown Sectional.
The Lancers’ opponent, Lutheran, bounced back from a slow start — trailing after one quarter — to overtake Edinburgh and prevail 40-21.
The upset-minded Lancers finished a season of adversity at 3-17. Lutheran lost 55-43 to tournament host Morristown in the championship final.
“We did some good things,” first-year Edinburgh coach Amy Macy said. “We did a pretty good job of blocking out, but we weren’t hitting the shots we usually do.”
The truth was, Edinburgh had a lot of good shots not go in, a fact which hurt even more since the Lancers committed 30 turnovers.
On the plus side, the Lancers held their own under the basket, matching the Saints’ 29 rebounds, and stymied Lutheran’s offensive attack in the opening period in taking an 8-7 lead.
Forward Mara Cox gave Edinburgh a boost during the first eight minutes with three baskets off the bench. The freshman ended up with a team-high 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
The Saints regrouped in the second quarter and wrested away the lead on a basket-and-one play by sophomore guard Emma Weeden to take a 10-8 average. That was the start of a 9-0 run before Edinburgh answered with a bucket by freshman Brianna Howard.
Lutheran, however, took a 17-13 lead into halftime.
The third quarter was the ballgame, as Saints senior forward Casey Koons took over, scoring 11 of her game-best 17 points to help her team carry a 15-point advantage into the final period.
The Lancers, meanwhile, scored just two points in the third quarter, which came in the final half-minute.
“They brought (Koons) out higher and started cutting to the basket, and we didn’t adjust to that very well,” Macy said.
Kimberly Kuehr, Kate Caston and Alaura Meister had six points apiece for the Saints. For Edinburgh, Howard had four points and two assists, and Mariah Weddle contributed three points and matched Cox’s seven rebounds.
Afterward, Macy was heartened that her players’ disappointment was properly placed.
“As a coach, you like that they’re upset that they lost, and that they want to come back and change that next year,” Macy said.