The Brookings-Harbor High School girls basketball team's time at the OSAA state playoffs was cut short Thursday as they lost two games in as many days; Wednesday they lost to Mazama, Thursday they lost to La Salle Prep.
Game 1: Brookings-Harbor 37, Mazama 76
Early turnovers killed the Lady Bruins on Wednesday as they lost to the Lady Vikings of Mazama 37-76 to drop to the consolation bracket of the tournament.
The Bruins had five turnovers early in the game and quickly trailed the Vikings 7-18 in the first quarter.
"The easy answer is; we're not the first team to come up on this stage and get stage fright," Head Coach Chris Schofield said. "We knew that nerves would be an issue, we just wanted to keep it close enough early on; until we could get settled down."
The Bruins scored another 7 points in the second quarter before heading into the locker room, but allowed the Vikings to score twice as many to head into the half trailing 14-32.
With Mallory McDonald leading the Bruins' scoring with 7 points -- 5 of those 7 came from the free-throw line - the Bruins were hard pressed to catch the Vikings despite increasing the defensive pressure in the third quarter.
"We didn't do enough little things," Schofield said. "We didn't box out, we weren't rebounding, we weren't moving our feet on defense; they are a really good team and we had to do the little things to keep up with a team like that."
The fourth quarter found the Bruins scoring 16, but they were still outscored by the Vikings' 19 points.
Conspicuously absent in the game was the Bruins' full-court pressure defense and Schofield explained, that when the Bruins had played Mazama earlier in the year, the Lady Vikings had picked apart the Bruins' "gold" defense.
"The problem is, without pressing we didn't work as hard in the half-court game as we would have in the full-court game," he said. "We're not good enough or big enough to beat anyone if we don't work hard. I thought our energy level was way down today."
Bruins contributing to the teams' 37 points included McDonald, 7 points; Karlie Gonzalez, 6; Jordyn Keys, 6; Athena Farr, 5; Iva Hart, Courtney Kay and Shawndee Hatcher, 3 points each; and Francesca Farr and Hannah Baron with 2 points a piece.
Game 2: Brookings-Harbor 38, La Salle Prep 55
The Lady Bruins returned to the OSAA championships on Thursday morning with considerable more energy, according to Schofield.
"Our energy levels were a lot higher," he said. "I was proud of the girls on the floor today. Against La Salle we played a lot harder."
The problem Thursday morning wasn't one of energy levels, it was a matter of shooting; and dealing with defensive pressure.
"The big thing was, we didn't handle their pressure very well," Schofield said. "They're a good team. They handled our pressure as the game wore on and we didn't covert on the turnovers we had."
The Bruins shot 30 percent from the field for the game including 1-for-10 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc.
"We improved at the free-throw line," Schofield said. "But our shooting percentage went down in other places on the floor."
The Bruins shot 75 percent from the charity stripe in the game, hitting 9-of-12 free throws in the game.
The Bruins' seniors - Athena Farr and Lakota Hatcher - were teary eyed at the end of the loss, but the team seemed to bear the loss reasonably well.
"Clearly there are some things we still have to work on," Schofield said," but we're playing a lot of sophomores and juniors and it was a first time in that gym for them. It was an eye-opening experience, and a great experience."
"I think when they look back a week from now, they'll see how good of an experience it was," he added.
Junior Karlie Gonzalez was singled out by the Dairy Farmers of America following both games as the Bruins' Player of the Game.
In the first game she had 6 points and seven rebounds, while in the second game she led the Bruins with 10 points, eight rebounds, two assists and a steal.
"It's nice for her to get recognized," Schofield said. "She did a great job on the boards for us; she did a great job defensively and she scored more for us than she had in previous games. She was a big lift for us."
Other Bruins contributing to final total included Mallory McDonald, 9 points, Iva Hart, 4, Cassie Vaught, 3; and Farr, Hatcher, Jordyn Keys, Hannah Baron, Drew Farmer and Courtney Kay with 2 points each.
Bruins claim tournament Sportsmanship Award
It may not be the hardware they were looking for, but the Lady Bruins did bring home a trophy.
They were awarded the tournament Sportsmanship Award.
"It's great," Athletic Director Buell Gonzales said. "Our girls did a really good job."