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Crawford struggles against Mitchell


December 12, 2012
The Crawford County Lady Pack had a rough night Thursday against visiting Mitchell, falling into a canyon and then being unable to pull themselves out as the Lady Bluejackets secured a 62-33 win. Mitchell's aggressive pressure defense in the early part of the game proved to be the determining factor in the Lady Bluejackets' lopsided win.

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Crawford County’s Mikayla Bowman tries to get a hand on Mitchell’s Sammie Howe in the first half of the Lady Pack’s 62-33 loss to the Lady Bluejackets. Photo by Wade Bell
"We didn't really go over (the press) this week but went over a press when we played North Harrison and, really, North Harrison's press didn't bother us that bad," said assistant coach John Bowles, who was subbing for head coach Alan Cox who was out of action due to foot surgery. "For some reason tonight, I guess maybe because we hadn't worked on it this week itself, I could not get it in the girls' heads of what we were trying to do."

Mitchell's press caused the Lady Pack all kinds of havoc in the first period. The Lady Pack turned the ball over 12 times and hit just 2 of 11 field goals. Mitchell, meanwhile, only coughed up the ball twice and hit 8 of 20 from the field, taking a 23-6 lead. The second quarter was about as bad as Crawford turned the ball over eight times and hit just one of eight shots from the field. Mitchell hit five of its nine field-goals attempts and took a 35-9 lead to the locker room at halftime.

"When we make 20 turnovers, if you can eliminate those by half, that's 10 more shots you get at a bucket," Bowles said. "That's what's killing us. That's double the times you have to play defense."

Crawford had a better third quarter, bringing its turnovers down to three for the period and hitting four of 11 shots. The Lady Bluejackets, however, made another gain, though it was slight, to lead 49-20. The Lady Pack played evenly with Mitchell in the final period, but the damage was done and the Lady Bluejackets went on for the 62-33 win.

"There toward the end of the game, I know we had some different players in the game for Mitchell, but we actually ran our plays the way we were supposed to," Bowles said. "One thing I was proud of them, that one play I drew up for Brooke Sauer, the three-point play, we hadn't practiced that ever. They ran it perfectly and got a good shot out of it. It ate the inside of the rim and came back out. That was one of the things I was proud of them, I actually wrote something up on the board and they listened to me and executed perfectly."

Mandi McLain led the Lady Pack with 11 for the night. Crawford hit just 11 of 40 field goals for the game (28 percent) and 7 of 13 free throws. Crawford turned the ball over 25 times.

"Once we got it in their heads what we were trying to do, it was a little too late," Bowles said. "We had so many turnovers against the press. We just made too many turnovers the first half."

Sammie Howe led Mitchell with 15 points. The Lady Bluejackets connected on 21 of 49 field goals (43 percent) and 15 of 20 free throws. Mitchell had just eight turnovers for the 32 minutes.

"It's just very small things they need to fix and they become a better ball club," Bowles said. "They're trying to throw passes that are uncatchable to the wings. They've got to lead them with a bounce pass. We worked on it in practice but, when you bring it to a game, it's a different situation."

Bowles said, if his team could put four quarters together like the fourth, the outcome of some games would be much different. The Crawford assistant said the Lady Pack can fix some of those problems by literally watching the errors of their ways.

"I've told the girls what each of them need to do ... " Bowles said. "We don't watch a whole lot of game tape. I told them they're more than welcome to take any game they want to watch. 'If you watch and see the things you're doing wrong, you'll understand what I'm talking about, at how small they are. If you just fix that small area, you're going to be a whole lot better ball player'."

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