Cathedral girls fall to Enterprise in tourney

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 1, 2006

ENTERPRISE &8212; As a scoring drought dragged on in the first half when very little seemed to go right for Cathedral, head coach Kathy Graning couldn&8217;t help but remember what she&8217;s preached most of the season.

It&8217;s got to get done with defense.

But in times like these, it does take some offense, too.

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The Lady Wave didn&8217;t sink a field goal in the second quarter and scored only four points over a 12-minute span before dropping a 61-35 decision to Enterprise in the opening round of the Region 7-1A tournament at Enterprise.

The loss ended the season for the Lady Wave (6-19) and its four seniors.

&8220;Mattie (Smith) is sick, and she&8217;s not 100 percent,&8221; Graning said. &8220;But that&8217;s not why we got beat. I feel bad she wasn&8217;t well enough her last game to make an impact. We gave it a good shot. I still believe that if we play 32 minutes like we&8217;re capable of playing, I think we can beat any of them. We&8217;re not going to have a chance at that now.

&8220;This group went from winning one game as freshmen to six games this year. They&8217;ve hopefully laid a foundation for the younger ones.&8221;

The Lady Wave has relied on its defense all season and scored enough points in ball games to get the win or stay in it late in the game. Blowouts weren&8217;t the norm this season as they&8217;ve been in the past, but on Tuesday night the inability to execute against Enterprise&8217;s 1-3-1 half-court defense made for a tough night scoring.

The Lady Hornets (11-10) picked off passes in the halfcourt and held Cathedral to one shot thanks to their size advantage down low.

&8220;They weren&8217;t falling,&8221; said senior Claire Kenda, who led CHS with 11 points. &8220;We knew what we had to do (against the 1-3-1). The last couple of days we&8217;ve been working on plays. We did what we could. Sometimes our heads got out of it and we rushed a pass. We made some passes that were too easy for them to steal.&8221;

The combination of turnovers and missed shots caused the drought in the first half that gave Enterprise the lead it needed in order to put the game away. Things worked at the beginning for the Lady Wave at the very start &8212; a 7-5 lead halfway in &8212; before things dried up.

Kenda put in a shot with 39 seconds left in the first, and that was the last bucket of the half for the Lady Wave. Enterprise went from trailing by two to leading by 22 with 42 seconds left in the half when Alisha Mason put one off the glass for a 31-9 lead &8212; a 26-2 Enterprise run.

Kristian Dobard put in two free throws for Cathedral with 30 seconds left that put the score at 31-11 at halftime.

&8220;We don&8217;t (communicate) at times,&8221; Enterprise head coach Jill Nations said. &8220;I&8217;ve switched two of my players defensively. We&8217;re going to work at it. We always need to work defensively. We definitely need to work on our defense a little bit.&8221;

The 20-point lead was tough to overcome, although the Lady Wave got a bucket real quick in the second half when Smith scored just over 30 seconds in. That was the start of three straight baskets &8212; Caitlin Huffines and Dobard followed &8212; that cut the deficit to 33-17 at the 5:37 mark.

But then give credit to Mason, the tall, lanky standout for Enterprise who&8217;s shown she can do a little of everything. She drove across the lane, fired an off-balance shot and watched it hit nothing but net while lying on the rubber floor.

Mason finished with 33 points.

&8220;She&8217;s awesome,&8221; Kenda said. &8220;Anybody that can shoot sideways and still hit nothing but net, she&8217;s pretty good. I told them we hope they beat St. Al.&8221;

Everyone with Cathedral knew Mason all too well &8212; she hit 32 in a win over Cathedral in Natchez during the regular season &8212; but she took over anyway. Her off-balance bucket started a 14-2 run, and she had 10 of those points with two free throws ending the run for a 47-19 lead.

And the scoring was balanced over the course of the game. Mason had nine in the first, 10 the second and 10 the third before exiting in the fourth with four points.

&8220;We held Alisha Mason to 19 last time,&8221; Graning said. &8220;I thought that was pretty darned good. She&8217;s going to get her 20 points. She shoots sideways, and it&8217;s hard to stop her. She&8217;s going to find a way to score. I felt if we held her to 20 points or less, we had a good shot at winning. We didn&8217;t do that, and you saw what happened.&8221;