The North Zulch Lady Bulldogs picked up their first victory in district play over Burton last Tuesday and finished the first half of their league slate with a record of 1-4.
North Zulch topped Burton 77-25 before falling on the road to Iola on Friday by a score of 41-25. The Lady Bulldog roster has been stretched pretty thin since the early part of the season, as was the case for Burton entering the district bout.
“We were able to move the ball well and find the open player,” said Coach Michael Stenseth on the win. “We shot well from three and only had seven turnovers. When you do those two things, you can beat anyone.”
The Lady Bulldogs shot well throughout the night and played good defensively without using the press. They jumped out to a commanding 22-2 lead after the first quarter of play and never looked back. North Zulch tallied at least 17 points in all four quarters.
Kaitlyn Douga led the way in a high-scoring effort with 20 points. Lakin Maddin followed with 19 while Samantha Moore and Katelyn Crocker added 14. Maddin hit five of the 12 North Zulch three-pointers and Douga and Crocker each recorded three.
In Friday’s game at Iola, the Lady Bulldogs got into foul trouble early and fell behind against a physical opponent. Points were few and far between, especially early on when Iola held a 5-2 advantage after the first quarter.
“I felt like I was coaching the game with my hands tied behind my back,” said Stenseth. “With the fouls, we could not do anything we wanted to do. We are a small team and when we are not shooting well we cannot capitalize on those rebound opportunities.”
North Zulch shot just five of 33 from three-point territory and were outscored 17-0 at the free throw line. The ran a press which was effective at times but they still had no answers for Iola’s inside attack. Iola outscored the Lady Bulldogs 25-15 in the second half to take the 16 point win.
The team will now see their five district opponents for a second time. This began with a road game in Somerville on Tuesday and will continue in Snook on Friday night. The shorthanded Lady Bulldogs will look to avenge a pair of losses from earlier in the year and finish off the schedule strong.
“We can adjust the second time around and maybe catch an opponent off guard if they got us the first time,” said Stenseth. “We need to be successful from the three-point line to win until we can get back to full strength next year.”