The North Zulch Lady Bulldogs competed in the Agieland Invitational over the weekend and got an opportunity to face some of the area’s bigger schools.
North Zulch drew some tough matchups and finished the tournament with a record of 0-3 with losses to China Spring, Rosehill Christian and Lufkin to help them prepare for district play.
“It is difficult as a smaller school competing in a 1A through 4A field,” said North Zulch women's basketball Coach Michael Stenseth. “I knew there would be some tough matchups and the hazard of holiday tournaments is that you are rusty and have not played in a number of days. We were shorthanded but I thought we did some good things.”
In the opening game against China Spring, the rust showed for the Lady Bulldogs in a 65-24 loss. They could not find the range from the floor and Kaitlyn Douga would be the only North Zulch player to record a field goal in the contest. She led the way with 19 points and three three-pointers.
The Bulldogs ran into more trouble against Rosehill and dropped the contest by a score of 61-21. Facing a severe height disadvantage, including a 6’1 opponent, North Zulch struggled to see over Rosehill defenders and could not find an offensive rhythm. Douga led the team in scoring again with just six points and was followed by Cheyanne Wallin and Shelby Harkrider with four apiece.
In consolation play, and their final matchup of the weekend, North Zulch ran into Lufkin-Hudson, the only squad of the two-loss group that was not 2A or lower. The Hornets would beat the Lady Bulldogs 54-23.
Despite the loss, North Zulch saw signs of improvement in their three-quarter press, which struggled earlier in the year against Cayuga. They also had a lot of opportunities to keep it close, but saw a number of key shots rim out down the stretch. Katelyn Crocker led the way in scoring with 10 points and was followed by Megan Massey with eight.
“Unfortunately, we did not get to play in a fourth game,” said Stenseth. “But we accomplished some good things considering the competition we played and can fix what we struggled with in practice.”
The Lady Bulldogs will now turn their sites to a competitive district and a matchup with Somerville at NZHS on Friday at 6:30.