Thursday, March 09, 2000

Waynesville girls lose touch

Enquirer contributor

        VANDALIA — Waynesville suffered through its worst shooting night of the season and fell to Northwestern 46-32 in a Division IV regional semifinal game Wednesday at Vandalia Butler.

        The Spartans, four days after shooting 67 percent against Wyoming in the district title game, managed just 13-of-36 from the field against Northwestern.

        “You can't win if you can't score,” Waynesville coach Tim Gabbard said. “Their defense did nothing special. We had our shots and missed them.”

        Despite their poor shooting, the Spartans remained in striking distance. After three quarters, Northwestern held a 22-18 lead, but the momentum favored Waynesville.

        But in the fourth quarter, the Spartans still struggled from the field, allowing Northwestern to pull away.

        Senior Molly Earley scored six straight buckets for Northwestern, and with 6:37 remain ing in the game, the lead was 28-19.

        With Waynesville's confidence at a low, a comeback was impossible.

        “We were only down four after playing a pitiful first half,” Gabbard said. “I told the girls we could come out of it. We just couldn't make anything.”

        Waynesville was coming off a perfect (6-of-6) 3-point shooting night against Wyoming, and the Spartans went to the longball early.

        Jennifer Kapper opened the game with a missed 3-pointer, and Jessica Hupe followed with a miss.

        “Entering the game I knew the first three minutes would tell the story of the game,” Gabbard said. “If we make either of those 3s, maybe it would be a different ballgame.”

        Earley led Northwestern with 15 points. Kapper's 13 led Waynesville, which ends its season at 23-2.

        “I hate to see a great season end this way,” Gabbard said.

        WAYNESVILLE (32) — Kapper 5 3 13. Nelson 1 2 4, Measel 2 0 4, Elam 4 0 8, Hupe 1 0 3. Totals: 13 5 32.

        NORTHWESTERN (46) — Cotrell 3 7 14, Cummins 3 3 10, Earley 6 3 15, Engelbrecht 2 0 4, Wroblewski 0 2 2, Rutledge 0 1 1. Totals: 14 16 46.

        Waynesville ....... 6 7 5 14—32

        Northwestern ....... 11 6 5 24—46

        Three-pointers: W-Hupe. NW-Cotrell, Cummins. Records: W 23-2, NW 24-1.


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