Webb City defense takes toll on 'Dogs

Sunday, March 14, 2010

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Notre Dame girls basketball coach Renee Peters was happy to look at the bright side with a one-point lead over top ranked Webb City entering halftime of the Class 4 state championship game.

"That was one better than we started the game with and that was the momentum we had," Peters said.

The Bulldogs' lead had been five with 1 minute, 32 seconds left in the half before two Notre Dame turnovers led to four quick points for Webb City.

"They got a couple quick turnovers and we had a one-point lead going into the half," Peters said. "We still felt pretty good about that."

While the game was not decided by that stretch, it underscored two problems that plagued Notre Dame throughout the game. The Bulldogs committed 19 turnovers in the game and gave up points to end each of the first three quarters of their 60-53 loss.

"They have a nice run-and-jump press," Peters said. "We knew that coming in. The first couple turnovers of the game I think may have been attributed to a little bit of nerves and a lot of adrenaline, trying to do too much too soon."

Notre Dame built a four-point lead as the first quarter closed, but Webb City's Kyndal Clark hit a 3-pointer just before the buzzer.

The Bulldogs turned over the ball 10 times in the first half, five times in each quarter, while forcing seven Webb City turnovers.

"I felt like we had way too many, but we turned it up in the second half," Webb City coach Brad Shorter said. "We hit the boards hard, we took care of the basketball, limited our turnovers, got the ball to our scorers like we needed to -- the kids just stepped up."

Webb City committed just one turnover in the decisive second half while Notre Dame committed nine, four of which came in the final four minutes.

"We had a couple little turnovers there at the end that kind of topped it for them and we just came up a little short today," Peters said. "At the end, I think fatigue had a lot to do with it today, too. I could see in our guards that our legs weren't 100 percent there."

Peters said she thought playing games on consecutive days tired her players.

"Every team has to do it," she said. "But I think once the fatigue sets in a little bit, that'll trigger the turnovers."

Webb City, the runner-up at last year's final four, scored 24 points off turnovers while Notre Dame got just eight points off turnovers.

"It was going to take an 'A' game," Peters said. "I thought we gave them an 'A' game, they just stepped up at the end and they did what they needed to do. I'm not taking anything away from these ladies. They gave what they had."

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