After falling in their tournament opener to Trimble County (4-5) 64-55, the night before, Burgin picked up a second round win over the Amazons of Louisville Collegiate (5-3) Friday afternoon in a game that went down to the final shot.
Both teams played sloppy defense in the first half with a total of 39 free throws attempted between the two teams, 21 by Burgin and 18 by Louisville Collegiate. The Lady Bulldogs held a 15-13 lead after the first quarter despite making only two field goals in the period.
The foul trouble eventually came back to hurt the Lady Bulldogs in the second quarter when starter Randi Burke went to the bench after picking up her fourth foul.
“It was a closely called game in that first half,” said Burgin Head Coach Ray Daniels. “They were calling all the hand checks, all the reaching in and we just had to adjust to that at halftime.”
With Burke on the bench, forward Taylor Sanders came up big for the Lady Bulldogs with three, three pointers in the second quarter including one at the buzzer, giving Burgin a 37-32 halftime lead. Burke would sit the entire third quarter and most of the fourth, but despite the absence of a starter, Burgin continued to hold on to their lead.
“The play we got out of our bench tonight, when Randi Burke went to the bench with foul trouble, was huge,” said Daniels. “We’ve been trying to develop our bench all year and tonight they played really well for us, coming in and just doing their job.”
Burgin’s bench combined for no points in the game, but contributed with solid defense and rebounding helping to hold off the Amazons who continued to trail after the third quarter, 47-41.
A cold spell nagged the Lady Bulldog’s offense in the fourth quarter, with the team not scoring their first basket of the period until the 4:53 mark. Burgin wouldn’t hit a field goal the entire period and as a result watched their lead dwindle down to a single possession, 49-47, with 2:08 left in the ball game.
Liz Marcinek’s free throw with under a minute to play increased the Lady Bulldog’s lead to three points, 50-47, but with 17 seconds to play Burgin committed the cardinal sin of fouling Louisville Collegiate’s Mikaela Wright on a three point attempt.
“I was obviously frustrated that we committed a shooting foul in that situation,” said Daniels. “It was a learning experience for us and now we know we have to do better job of executing on both ends of the floor in late game situations.”