MARSHALL - Playing in the first game of the day in the Borch's Sporting Goods Holiday Tournament, the Lincoln HI girls' basketball team didn't appear ready for its 1 p.m. start time against Renville County West.
Turnovers, poor shooting and more turnovers plagued an ugly first half in which the Rebels scored just 12 points. Their late surge at the end of the game wasn't enough to overcome the early deficit as RCW claimed a 40-30 victory at the R/A Facility at Southwest Minnesota State.
The Rebels, who dropped to 0-6 with the loss, committed 36 turnovers in the game, made just 10 shots from the field and were 8 for 21 at the foul line. The young team that has just one senior picked up its energy at the end of the game while running a full-court press and forced a handful of turnovers while closing the game on a 7-0 run, but it was too little, too late.
"Our intensity level in the first half, well, I don't think our alarm clocks went off until the second half," Lincoln HI head coach Al Panka said. "In the second half about a few minutes in, yeah, we played alright, but we missed a bunch of bunnies, missed a bunch of free throws and that's the way it's been this season. Too many turnovers, too.
"If we can clean some of that up it doesn't look too bad, but it's a tough game when you can't get the ball up the floor and get into anything with any consistency."
RCW got out to a 26-12 halftime lead and held on to improve to 2-5 overall. Carina Zaske and Sadie Treml each hit two 3-pointers and scored 12 and 11 points, respectively. Like the Rebels, the Jaguars also struggled at the foul line, making just one of their seven attempts.
Lincoln HI (30)
Heidi Pavek 1 2-6 4, KaLea DeSmet 3 0-0 7, Alex DeSmet 1 0-0 3, Haley Przymus 1 2-2 4, Morgan Citterman 1 1-6 3, Maranda Jerzak 3 3-7 9. Totals 10 8-21 30. 3-pointers 2 Rebounds 31 (Citterman 9) Assists 5 Steals 9 (Pavek 5) Blocks 0 Turnovers 36.
Sadie Treml 4 1-2 11, Ricki Knutson 1 0-2 3, Morgan Zaske 2 0-0 4, Carina Zaske 5 0-2 12, Molly Elliot 3 0-1 6, Grace Robertson 1 0-0 2, Lexi Freiborg 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 1-7 40. 3-pointers 5 (Treml 2, C. Zaske 2).
Halftime Score: RCW 26, Lincoln HI 12.
Lincoln HI was led by center Maranda Jerzak, who had nine points. Guard KaLea DeSmet, the team's only senior, scored seven points. Sophomore guard Heidi Pavek added four points and had five of the team's nine steals, most of which came during the closing minutes of the game.
Most of the Rebels on this year's team saw limited playing time last year, as Lincoln HI has had to replace six seniors. Panka said the players are still working to figure out their roles and see who can step up and become leaders of the squad.
"A lot of these kids had bit minutes here and there, so they did have some experience, just not to to the point where they're 'the' player instead of being a role player," Panka said. "There's a big difference with that this year. We're still pretty young, we only have one senior so we have to grow up a little bit and get a little more experience by the end of the year so we can get a little bit tougher."
The Rebels continue Camden Conference play Thursday with a home game against Dawson-Boyd in Ivanhoe.