MT. ORAB — One week after the Lady Broncos’ offense struggled to put the ball in the hoop in the team’s season-opening loss to Clinton Massie, the Lady Broncos hit the home hardwood looking to pick up their first victory.
Things didn’t start well for Western Brown’s offense, though the defense held the Lady Warriors to just seven points in the first quarter. Mackenzie Brooks scored the Lady Broncos’ first six points, but Goshen hit a trio of three-pointers in the second quarter to turn a 7-5 lead into a 16-9 margin at halftime.
Western Brown’s offense disappeared completely in the third quarter and the defense went with it. The Broncos were outscored in the frame by a 16-5 margin and went nearly eight minutes without a field goal, allowing Goshen to pull away for what would eventually become a 42-23 victory.
Head coach Dennis Overstake said his team has to start performing better offensively.
“We’ve got to be mentally better than we are right now and, physically, we’ve got to be able to score,” Overstake said. “We can’t score 23 points and expect to beat anybody on any given night, let alone good teams. We have to be able to put points on the board.”
Lexi Ring led the Lady Broncos with 10 points, but she made just one of her five free-throw attempts in the contest. Nonetheless, Overstake liked her toughness in the contest.
“She could’ve been even better by making foul shots,” Overstake said. “She played hard both ways. Emma Wells played hard on defense. We just have to get everyone else to accept that mentality that they have to play hard for 32 minutes.”
Free-throws were a problem for the Lady Broncos. They hit just six of their 16 attempts. Add that into the team’s woes offensively and Overstake knows the team has to fix their offensive issues. He also seems to know what’s ailing the team.
“For the most part, if we can execute our offense that’s going to give somebody a good shot,” Overstake said. “We’re just rushing things. [They’re] not getting squared up, they’re standing sideways and missing foul shots. It’s the whole gamut of being able to score.”
Defensively, the Lady Broncos allowed Goshen to hit six three-point shots in the game, two by freshman guard Paige Garr.
“We were trying to change some defenses up there, especially in the first half,” Overstake said. “We didn’t get out there to cover, especially number 20 [junior Olivia Taulbee]. They had four threes in the first half. We were in a zone every time they shot that three pointer so our people didn’t get to the perimeter as fast as we need to. We need to recognize and not let them reverse the ball back around for that three-pointer on the opposite side of the floor.”
Western Brown went on a small run midway through the fourth quarter. The team out-scored Goshen 6-2 over a 1:30 span, but by then the damage was done. Overstake switched up the defense a bit prior to the run, forcing Goshen into turnovers that the Lady Broncos were able to capitalize on.
“If we get in transition, we can get it up and down the floor,” Overstake said. “We forced them to turn the ball over a few times, especially when we came out in our half-court trap. But we have to have five people on the same page every time they’re on the floor. We have to adjust immediately and not let people to get to the basket without help.”
It’s not going to get any easier for the Lady Broncos, who face Batavia on the road Monday, December 7. The Bulldogs are led by senior Leona Burton, who averaged 20 points per game in her team’s first three contests, all victories.
“Looking at the teams I’ve scouted so far, every one of them has at least one or two natural scorers,” Overstake said. “We’ve got to be able to shut them down and make someone else score. We thought we were doing that tonight but [Taulbee] hit three three-pointers.”