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Spartan girls suffer tough loss to Richmond

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

The Connersville High School girls basketball team had its chance to at least tie its game against Richmond in regulation, trailing by two with time running down.

Unfortunately, the Lady Spartans were unable to deliver on that opportunity, and the Lady Red Devils escaped Spartan Bowl with a 44-42 victory in hand.

"I really thought that it might be a close game between the two teams," Connersville head coach Michael Thompson said following the loss. "I definitely didn't think it would be a game in which either team would win by 10."

It didn't, as CHS missed a 3-point attempt in the closing seconds, a shot that would have won the game for the Spartans.

Thompson was quick to point out that the game hinged on a lot more than that shot, however.


"It was not the last shot that we missed that cost us this game," he said. "It was the number of times we didn't block out, allowing them extra shots throughout the game, the number of turnovers that never should have happened. Those are the things that really hurt us."

A sluggish start didn't help his charge any either, as Connersville opened the game with only eight points in the first quarter.

"We just got out to a flat start tonight," Thompson confirmed. "I felt like the energy wasn't there, and neither was the effort on defense. As a result, we find ourselves trailing 14-8 after the first quarter.


"From there, I felt like we were climbing out of that deficit the entire time."


The Spartans trailed by seven heading into halftime (24-17), and shaved two points off the deficit throughout the third quarter, facing a 32-27 hole heading into the final frame.

Connersville then outscored their guests 15-12 through the final eight minutes, but came up one basket short.


"That's really all you can ask for, is that you have a chance to win it at the end," Thompson said of having the final shot.

The Spartans were led by Jessica Beckman's 15 points, followed by Lauren Thompson, who finished with 10.

"Jessica did a nice job offensively, but there are times that she could still finish stronger at times," the CHS mentor said. "Over all though, I was pleased with how she stepped up for us, without Maddie (Gregory) in there.

"I also thought that Lauren (Thompson) and Sarah (Griffin) both did a nice job coming off the bench tonight."

In the junior varsity game, Connersville wound up taking its game by a 27-16 margin.

The Spartan reserves were held scoreless in the first quarter, and managed only two points in the second, but Richmond wasn't much better, collecting only eight points by the halftime break.

In the second half, CHS scored 25 points, 16 of them in the third quarter, pulling away for the win.

The Connersville junior varsity team was led by Maranda Cranfill, who scored nine points. She was followed by Gianna Struewing with eight.

The Spartan girls are in action for two games this weekend, as the team travels to Franklin County for an Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference contest on Friday night, before playing host to Guerin Catholic at Spartan Bowl on Saturday.




(at Spartan Bowl)



Connersville — Marley Smith 2 1-2 5, Tori Bostwick 1 0-0 2, Sarah Griffin 2 0-0 5, Lauren Thompson 3 2-3 10, Hannah Groce 2 0-0 5, Elise Bottomley 0 0-0 0, Jessica Beckman 4 7-7 15. Totals 14 10-12 42.

Richmond – Totals 17 8-13 44.