One play was all the Whiteland girls basketball team needed to make to end a long losing streak.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, with eight seconds left they couldn’t get the play off and ended up dropping a 47-44 heartbreaker to host Shelbyville on Thursday night.
Trailing by only two, the Warriors had the ball, but an untimely turnover in the final seconds prevented the Warriors from attempting a shot.
And with the turnover, the frustration continued for Warriors, as they lost their 12th straight game.
But Whiteland coach Kyle Shipp still was pleased by the Warriors’ progress.
“Really, we shot the ball pretty well, and we executed better than we have,” Shipp said. “The effort was there, but we needed to have three or four more plays.”
For once, a stagnant offense wasn’t the main problem for Whiteland (1-14). In the three prior games, the Warriors had only cracked the 30-point barrier one time and were averaging just 28 points.
Although it took the Warriors until the fourth quarter to get 30 points, they were scrappy and didn’t give up, even when down by 10 points with 5:27 to play.
“I thought we had a little dip in the third where (Shelbyville) had a run,” Shipp said. “We can’t have those lulls in the game. As a result, we had to use a couple of timeouts to get refocused, but I liked the way we fought back.”
Whiteland cut the Golden Bears’ lead to one point, at 44-43, on a basket by freshman guard Sidney Crowe with 1:38 left.
But that would be the last basket scored by the Warriors.
Also hurting Whiteland in the final minutes was the fact Crowe and junior starter Monica Wagner both fouled out.
Wagner had come alive in the last quarter, hitting a key 3-point shot and scoring six of her 11 points in the period.
Crowe finished with nine points.
“Losing two starters hurt,” Shipp said. “Had they stayed in we would have had a different play and might have gotten a shot. We have to be smart out there, and that was the message for the game.”
Sophomore Kate White also had 11 points for Whiteland.
Shelbyville (6-11) was led by Riley Achenbach’s game-high 16 points. Allyson Conner added 12 for the Golden Bears.
Whiteland’s next game is Saturday at county and Mid-State Conference rival Franklin.