WAHOO- Winning is hard when you play the best regularly. The Bishop Neumann girls basketball team figured that out first hand with a home loss 49-35 against Class C-2 No. 4 Guardian Angels Central Catholic on Jan. 6 and then another defeat, this time at Columbus Scotus 29-26 on Jan. 8.
In the game against the Bluejays on Thursday, it was a tale of two halves for the Cavaliers. Neumann struggled mightily out of the gate but ended up outplaying Guardian Angels in the second half.
“We just did not come mentally prepared to play,” Neumann head coach Jason Simons said. “It’s tough to win games with the schedule we play and it doesn’t help when we don’t come ready to play. I can’t fault the effort in the second half, the way they were flying around. We just need to get our head in the right place and prepare for a grind in the second half of the season.”
The Cavaliers started the game off slow offensively. They only scored three points on a free throw by Kali Jurgensmeier and a layup by her as well.
A corner three by the Bluejays with time running down in the first, helped Guardian Angels go up 16-3.
The offense finally picked up for Neumann in the second quarter. Caitlin McGuigan made a layup while being fouled and the free-throw as well; while Elsa Vederal knocked down a three to help the Cavaliers score 14 points.
Despite a good offensive effort put forth by Neumann, the Bluejays still found their success on the offensive end. The 21 points they scored helped them go up 37-17 at the half.
To start the third quarter, the Cavaliers had a nice nine-point run. Jurgensmeier scored the first points on a layup, followed by a made shot from Julia Ingwersen, a rebound and basket by Bridget Whitney, and then a three-pointer from Kinslee Bosak.
What once looked like an insurmountable deficit was down to 13 points at 41-28 with one quarter left to play.
Neumann got within ten points at 41-31 right away with a three from McGuigan. That point margin would stay the same with two free throws from Jurgensmeier.
Eventually, the Bluejays offense picked things up and scored eight points to end the quarter and hold on for the victory.
The biggest issue for the Cavaliers was turning the basketball over. They did that 26 times throughout the game, most of them coming in the first half.
Just missing out on a double-double was Jurgensmeier with 15 points and nine rebounds. Kinslee Bosak had six points, three rebounds, and three assists, McGuigan scored five points and 11 rebounds, Ingwersen finished with four points, Vederal had three points, and Whitney finished with two points.
Saturday was a matchup for Neumann with Centennial Conference foe Scotus. The Shamrocks are known for being an amazing defensive team, and they proved why they are once again, by holding the Cavaliers to just 26 points.
Trailing 2-0 early, Jurgensmeier was able to knock down a three that put Neumann up by one. Scotus was able to battle back and took a 9-7 lead at the end of the first.
A three-point second quarter and a four-point third destroyed the Cavaliers chances of winning. Heading to the final frame they were trailing 22-14.
Neumann was able to outscore Scotus 12-7 in the fourth, but it ended up not being enough.
The Cavaliers did have a chance to tie the game on the last possession on a three which went in with under five seconds. After the shot, the refs stated there was a foul on the floor by the Shamrocks who had a foul to give, thus erasing the points.
Playing a big factor in the loss was the fact that Neumann put up 18 three-pointers in the game and only made one. Another issue is they shot 25.7% from the field.
Scoring 13 points, grabbing five rebounds and four steals was Jurgensmeier. Vederal had five points, three assists, and two steals, and Kinslee Bosak and McGuigan had four points apiece.