Although the Academics Plus Lady Falcons lost two games last week, Coach Ken Holland is more upbeat than he has been in a while.
Last Thursday, the Lady Falcons lost by 20 points to conference foe Nemo Vista. A non-conference game last Friday at Abundant Life was lost in the final minutes.
"We had lots of energy and played really hard," Holland said. "Against Nemo, we were only down by nine points at the half. We aren’t as talented as Nemo Vista, but the Nemo coach told us we played hard. He said it was the hardest he has seen a team from Academics Plus play."
Holland was pleased with the performance of senior forward Kelly Hough. He said she played two of her best games last week. Her absence in the final minutes of the Abundant Life contest proved to be the difference in the 61-52 loss.
After leading the entire contest and with two minutes left in the game, Academics Plus was ahead by one point before Hough fouled out. Holland only has seven players total, and the two remaining subs were a junior and sophomore without much experience. Without Hough in, the Lady Falcons were missing an inside presence and also rebounding experience. A miscommunication between Holland and the scorekeeper made the loss tough to swallow.
"At halftime, I checked Kelly’s fouls,’ Holland said. "We had her with two and the scorekeeper said the same thing. After she got her third foul, they said it was her fourth, and I said that wasn’t right. The scorekeeper then said he made a mistake. By the time, I could get her off the floor, she committed her fifth foul."
At that point, the score was 52-51. While the Lady Falcons didn’t score again, Abundant Life notched 10 more points. Holland said they got killed on the boards and believes if Hough was in then the Lady Falcons would have won.
Last night, Academic Plus matched up with Lisa Academy. In the first meeting, the Lady Falcons won by 30 points. Holland believes with their increased energy level and the way they have been playing, a victory was likely. His goal was to press since they haven’t been able to press for a while.
"We need a good win," he said. "It’s time for us to beat someone, and I hope the game is over by halftime."
An easier contest is welcome since Academics Plus travels to Wonderview for a conference contest Thursday and then hosts Conway Christian in a non-conference slate Friday.