LOOGOOTEE — Loogootee's Christina Ziegler was on fire from the start, but she didn't get much help from her friends.
Ziegler scored 17 points and pulled down five rebounds, but the Lions dropped its fourth game in a row — 40-23 to Orleans Tuesday night at Jack Butcher Arena.
Ziegler hit three of her first four shots, but the rest of the Loogootee lineup couldn't hit a shot and the Lions trailed 14-6 after the first eight minutes. Ziegler continued her hot shooting in the second quarter, where she hit 3-of-4 shots to give her 12 points for the half.
With 4:10 to play in the second quarter, a Loogootee player not named Ziegler scored for the first time when Allie Walker hit a jumper to cut the Orleans lead to 18-14. Emily Brookshire added a jumper off her own, but the Lions trailed 22-16 at halftime.
"She (Ziegler) was working hard — she runs the floor really well and can finish at the basket," said Loogootee coach Chad Wade. "She did a nice job moving, but in the second half I think she was a little tired. Maybe our guards didn't get her the ball when she was open on flashes and that's going to be a growing pain for us."
In the third quarter, Ziegler scored five more points to give her 17 through three quarters, but the Lions still trailed by four, 27-23 entering the fourth quarter. Despite the scoring tear in the first three quarters, the senior forward couldn't get the offense going in the fourth quarter. Wade though that was due in part to fatigue from carrying the offensive load for the first 24 minutes. The Lions got two points apiece from Taylor Hayes, Allie Walker and Emily Brookshire.
"We tried to give her a break during the game, but with us being in a deficit, it's hard to do that," Wade said. "I think she gets a little down, but we'll have to go back and work on that. We need to work on figuring out what our offense is and maybe try some different things and add a little more motion. We didn't move really well tonight, but that's probably my fault."
In the final quarter, Taylor Wheeler scored the first four points for Orleans to push the lead to 10 with 6:30 to play in regulation. Wheeler added another jumper and a free throw, while Addie Ramsey knocked down two jumpers to put the game out of reach. The Bulldogs used a balanced attack to keep the Lion defense off balance as they got 16 points from Addie Ramsey and 10 from Taylor Wheeler.
"They are a balanced team — they have a lot of juniors," Wade said. "They have a good senior guard (Shelby Noble) and she leads them and directs the offense. They do a nice job with patience and ball screens, probably a little more of what we need to do."
The Lions play at Barr-Reeve Thursday as they try to snap their four-game losing streak. The Lions enter the rivarly looking for their first win over Barr-Reeve since the 2004-2005 season. Barr-Reeve won last year's matchup 55-17 at Loogootee.
"We need to get some additional scoring in other areas," Wade said. "We need to get more motion and get other players involved in the offense."