Saturday night at the Hatchet House, the Loogootee Lions were giving the gift of basketballs to the Washington Hatchets. And from the Hatchet perspective, it was a gift that kept on giving for four quarters.
An inexperienced Loogootee team found the going tough against Washington as the Hatchets dominated the second half in a 64-33 win.
With a roster devoid of seniors and any appreciable varsity experience, Loogootee (2-4) found the defensive pressure of Washington (2-3) too much to handle. The Lions committed 23 turnovers for the game, including at least five miscues in every quarter. As Loogootee only attempted 24 shots on the night, nearly half of the Lions’ possessions ended with a turnover instead of a scoring chance.
Washington coach Gene Miiller’s team came into the game looking to speed up the deliberate Lions’ attack with defensive pressure, and the tactic worked well.
“We wanted to come out and pressure them full court and get after’em, get them into some trap situations. We thought they struggled a little bit against traps, so we were going to trap them and get after them and try to speed them up a little bit, try to take them out of their offense,” said Miiller. “They do a nice job of running their offense and Mike does a nice job of coaching, they’re a very inexperienced team. It’s a tough situation they’re going through.”
Loogootee coach Mike Wagoner compared his team’s play to the weather outside the Hatchet House, where daylong rains had produced flood warnings that lasted well into the night.
“There was a flood on the outside, and there was a flood in here of turnovers on our part. Just a really, really bad showing for Loogootee basketball, it’s embarrassing. We’re better than that, we know we are, we’ve played better than that, we’re smarter than that,” said Wagoner. “We just haven’t shown it. We’re doing things that kids who have never played basketball before do. We have to go back and get our mental aspect prepared for every game.