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Rally comes up short for Lady Cats

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Louisburg sophomore Madisen Simpson drives around an Ottawa player in the Lady Cats’ 60-51 loss Friday on homecoming.


For the first 23 minutes, the Louisburg girls basketball team couldn’t seem to get in any kind of rhythm during Friday’s homecoming contest against Ottawa.

The Lady Cats eventually found it, and for the final nine minutes, turned a 21-point deficit to just five, but couldn’t get over the hump in a 60-51 loss to the Cyclones. Louisburg came close to pulling off an improbable comeback.

“It was good to see the girls battle back, especially being down 21, but we have to be smarter at this point in the season,” Louisburg coach Shawn Lowry said. “We had four days to prepare for Ottawa and defensively we were just out of position. The homecoming game is always filled with distractions and other things, so I am sure that was part of it, but we have to be more focused.”

The game started to slip away from the Lady Cats (9-7) in the third quarter as Ottawa went on a 14-3 run to build a 47-26 lead with just under a minute left. Louisburg built some momentum when Natalie Moore hit two free throws and then a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it a 15-point deficit.

Louisburg junior Natalie Moore drives past an Ottawa player to the basket Friday in Louisburg. Moore finished with 27 points in the 60-51 loss

Louisburg junior Natalie Moore drives past an Ottawa player to the basket Friday in Louisburg. Moore finished with 27 points in the 60-51 loss

Moore, who finished with a game-high 27 points, scored 14 of those points in the fourth quarter to help bring Louisburg back. She hit a runner in the lane to cut it to 53-48 with 1 minute and 28 seconds left in the game.

Louisburg couldn’t get the stops it needed in the final minute and was forced to foul. Ottawa’s Corie Fischer hit the final seven free throws to keep the Lady Cats at bay.

Lady Cat senior Kirstin Lowry also hit a big 3-pointer during the run and finished in double figures with 12 points.

To get the rally started, Louisburg junior Megan Lemke dove on the floor late in the third quarter for a loose ball and forced an Ottawa turnover which seemed to give the Lady Cats new life.

“I think Megan’s play there really woke us up a little bit,” coach Lowry said. “It was a great hustle play and was a springboard into getting that rally going. It is those plays that can change a game and it did in our case.”

Louisburg had to deal with foul problems early as forward Kallie O’Keefe picked up two fouls with three minutes left in the first quarter and Moore picked up two fouls in the second.

Ottawa gave the Lady Cats fits in the first three quarters from all over the floor. Fischer and Brette Moore each finished with 16 points for the game.

However, Cyclone freshman Kamryn Shaffer provided the biggest impact as she scored 18 points, including four 3-pointers.

“The fact was Ottawa was on fire for a while and just made shots,” coach Lowry said. “For the freshman to come in and hit four 3s was big for them plus Fischer and Moore are always good players. I talked to those two before the game and I just wanted to let them know how much I appreciated them because I have watched them the last six or seven years and watched them grow. I try to do that with a lot of the seniors in the league.”

Louisburg will try and rebound from the loss Tuesday when it hosts Baldwin. Tipoff is set for approximately 6 p.m.

 

LOUISBURG                8             9             15           19 – 51

OTTAWA                     14           12           21           13 – 60

LOUISBURG (9-7): Natalie Moore 27, Kirstin Lowry 12, Megan Lemke 6, Madisen Simpson 5, Kallie O’Keefe 1. Totals 19 8-13 51. 3-point field goals: 5, (Moore 2, Lowry 2, Simpson)

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