Mohawks suffer first loss of season

Morley Stanwood struggles with free throws in 58-52 loss

MORLEY — Foul trouble and missed free throws spelled doom for the Morley Stanwood girls basketball team on Tuesday night as the Mohawks suffered their first loss of the season to Tri County, 58-52.

The foul trouble started early for the Mohawks, with Kayla Rosman picking up her second foul just two minutes into the contest. The Vikings took advantage of the Mohawks’ lack of height with Rosman on the bench and Mekayla Carey on vacation, running out to a 5-0 lead to open the game.

DRIVE: Morley Stanwood’s Lindsey Veersma looks for a lane against Tri County on Tuesday night at Morley Stanwood High School. Tri County won, 58-52.  (Pioneer photo/Brady Kenniston)

DRIVE: Morley Stanwood’s Lindsey Veersma looks for a lane against Tri County on Tuesday night at Morley Stanwood High School. Tri County won, 58-52. (Pioneer photo/Brady Kenniston)

The Mohawks responded with a 7-0 run to take a two-point lead on a Mallory Raven jumper, but the Vikings knocked down free throws to take an 11-9 advantage into the second quarter.

Lindsey Veersma knocked down a 3-pointer in the corner to open the second quarter and give her squad a 12-11 lead, but Tri County’s Jenna DeGeer hit two triples and two free throws throughout the quarter to give the Vikings a 26-22 lead heading into the halftime break as the Mohawks shot just seven-of-16 from the free-throw line in the first half.

“When we did get to the line, we couldn’t make them,” Morley Stanwood coach Bob Raven said. “We just gave away too many points at the line. It’s something we’re going to work on, and we do work on. You wouldn’t be able to tell from (Tuesday) though. We just didn’t shoot them very well.”

The second half started on a sour note for the home team, with Rosman picking up three fouls in the first two minutes of the third, fouling out with 6:13 left in the quarter.

“She got three fouls in about 10 seconds. It hurts,” Bob Raven said. “We were shorthanded in the post (without Carey), but hats off to Tri County. They were the better team (Tuesday) and they deserved to win.”

Momentum started to shift for the Mohawks, with Veersma hitting another triple followed by two 3-pointers from Mallory Raven and three treys from Mikayla Thumser, with Morley Stanwood taking a 41-39 lead into the fourth quarter.

“I just thought we needed to relax,” Bob Raven said. “I told the girls I thought we had a lot of open looks in the first half, we just didn’t look very confident. We played with more confidence in the third quarter and that was our best quarter.”

After a 19-point third quarter, 18 of the points coming on six 3-pointers, the Mohawk offense stalled in the fourth as Tri County took the lead back at 48-47 with under three minutes to play in the game.

The Mohawks kept things close, but more missed free throws and fouls allowed the Vikings to take the win, 58-52.

“We just had way too many fouls,” Bob Raven said. “Tri County won the game at the line and they were the more aggressive team. Our defense wasn’t very good and it wasn’t very smart.”

Veersma led the Mohawks with 16 points in a losing effort while Thumser and Raven both chipped in 14 apiece. Thumser had four triples and Raven had two in the setback as the Mohawks went 10-for-24 on free throws.

The Mohawks (3-1, 1-0 CSAA Silver) play at home against Hesperia on Friday at 5:30 p.m.

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