Lancers play well for half

EDINBURGH — It was a tale of two halves for the Edinburgh girls basketball team Monday.

The Lancers, hosting Eastern Hancock, took a 22-21 lead into halftime but found themselves on the wrong end of a 66-40 decision by game’s end.

“We quit playing after the first half,” Lancers coach Amy Macy said. “Even with all of our turnovers, we had a lead. In the second half, we quit doing what we were doing right in the first half.”

After the break, the Lancers used a 5-1 run to take their biggest lead of the game, at 27-22. But when center Kayli Littiken, who finished with eight points, picked up her third foul, the Royals took advantage of Edinburgh’s lack of defense underneath.

A 27-2 Eastern Hancock run, spanning the rest of the third quarter and a decent chunk of the fourth, put the game completely out of reach for Edinburgh.

With Littiken’s presence down low missing, the Royals ramped up the physicality and used their new-found size advantage to drive and go to the free-throw line.

“They played more physically, and we let that get to us. We were expecting calls we weren’t getting, and we let them take us out of the game. We were doing too much complaining about calls and the physicality that we just quit playing,” Macy said.

Edinburgh had no answer. Brianna Howard, who led the Lancers in scoring with 22, also got into foul trouble. With her on the bench, Edinburgh was unable to find any rhythm on offense in the second half, and with no height to come off the bench to replace Littiken, the Royals ran wild.

“We were a little tired. Our other post player, (Mariah) Weddle, has a concussion, so she’s out, and then we got into some foul trouble. The people that sat most of the first half weren’t ready to go in the second half,” Macy said.

“We got mentally beat.”

The Lancers, who drop to 2-18 with the loss, will be able to take some confidence out of the game.

The team looked solid in the first half against a quality opponent, and more consistent play could see them claim an upset in the upcoming sectional.

“We did a lot of positive things. If we can play two halves of that, that’s what we need to do. That was great basketball,” Macy said. “Hopefully we’ll put it all together in sectionals. We’re playing each game like it’s a sectional game, so hopefully we learn that we don’t want to end sectionals like we did playing in the second half.”