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Rough first quarter the difference in Cathedral girls loss

NATCHEZ — For the final 24 minutes of play, the Cathedral varsity girls outscored Friday’s opponent West Lincoln.

But the first eight minutes were the difference, as the Lady Green Wave fell behind 19-5 after the opening period and lost 44-41 despite a valiant effort in the fourth.

Cathedral outscored West Lincoln 36-25 in the second, third and fourth quarters, and cut the lead to one with 2:13 left to play. But West Lincoln scored four points in the final two minutes and limited Cathedral to two, ending any hopes of a miracle win.

“It’s a disappointing loss, but we came back and played much better than we did Tuesday night (against Sebastopol),” Cathedral girls head coach Bernita Dunbar said.

The Lady Green Wave trailed 37-29 going into the fourth quarter, and West Lincoln scored three more points open the quarter. After the Lady Bears’ Tamasha Buckley missed a one-and-one foul shot with 6:49 to go, Cathedral started to close in on West Lincoln.

Ginny Daggett got things started with a field goal at the 5:42 mark. Epiphany Jackson hit a two-pointer with 4:10 left and drew a foul, but missed the and-one. The Lady Bears got the rebound, but failed to score on their next possession, and Daggett responded with a layup to make it 40-35 with 3:32 left.

With 2:27 left, Cathedral’s Sarah Beth Willard hit a field goal. Jackson then scored a two-pointer off a West Lincoln turnover to make it 40-39.

But Cathedral’s shooting went cold after that, and the Lady Green Wave were forced to foul as the clock was ticking down. West Lincoln’s Karli Herrington sank two free throws with 1:39 left, and Marisa Pruski and Buckley each added one foul shot to extend the Lady Bears’ lead to 44-39. Daggett hit a layup as time expired to make it a four-point game.

After trailing 22-5 two minutes into the second quarter, Cathedral finally began to chip away at the large lead. The Lady Green Wave went on a 9-0 run before Pruski got a field goal with 1:46 left in the second. Herrington shot a three, and Ana Perry hit a foul shot to make it 27-15 West Lincoln at halftime.

Cathedral continued to crawl back in the third, outscoring the Lady Bears 14-10 to make it an eight-point game going into the final eight minutes.

Dunbar said the slow starts by her girls are putting them in situations early that are difficult to overcome.

“For some reason, we start off slow, and we have to work extra hard to catch up,” she said. “If we could ever get rolling early, we’d be all right.”

And Dunbar said she wishes she had the answer to the question of how to get her girls to come out of the gate firing.

“That’s a hard question, because you have to keep them motivated, but they have to be self-motivated,” Dunbar said. “When we are self-motivated, it’s really hard to stop us.”

Cathedral fell to 6-12 on the season, 2-4 in regional play.

West Lincoln 72,

Cathedral boys 39

The Cathedral boys had no answer for West Lincoln’s high-powered offense as the Bears improved to 21-0 on the season, 7-0 in regional play.

Cathedral (7-11, 1-5) didn’t have any double-digit scorers, and head coach Peter Arnold said his team got steamrolled from the get-go.

“They just have a tenacious defense, and overplayed every pass,” Arnold said. “Our plan was to slow game down, but we couldn’t. They played full-court man pressure, jumped out and got a quick lead… I don’t know. I’m at a loss of words.”

Cathedral will host the Mississippi School for the Deaf Monday.

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