District play started Tuesday night as the Saint Jo Lady Panthers traveled to face the Bellevue Lady Eagles.
For those looking to see a competitive game, this was not it. The Lady Eagles jumped out to a big first quarter lead and dominated from start to finish on the way to a 74-35 win.
Saint Jo started the game facing heavy pressure from Bellevue’s full court press that featured trapping. This forced many turnovers which led to scoring opportunities for the Lady Eagles in transition.
Zoe Berry could not miss as she made three three-pointers in the first quarter and FreeDom Morris scored eight points as Bellevue built a 32-9 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Lady Panthers got a bit used to the pressure and was able to get past the press a bit more consistently in the second quarter to try and set up some offense.
This led to less easy points from the Lady Eagles, but unfortunately for Saint Jo, not much better offense.
In the half court, Bellevue was able to find the open spots in the Lady Panther’s two-three zone defense for open three-pointers and then crashed the boards for offensive rebounds. While they did not score 32 points, the Lady Eagles did extend its lead to 49-17 at halftime.
The Lady Panthers were able to create some looks on offense early in the second half with Emily Haney and Charity Brawner able to make their way to the basket for stretches. Unfortunately for Saint Jo, Bellevue did a good job of contesting at the rim to either force tough misses or send them to the foul line, where both players had issues on the night.
The Lady Panthers did change its defense from zone to man-to-man, but the Lady Eagles were able to adjust by running its post players through screens underneath the basket to get open shots right at the basket. Bellevue pulled back its defense to a more trapping half court attack out of a zone set, which led to some more turnovers and transition baskets.
As the game moved into the fourth quarter with the Lady Eagles lead sitting at 68-22, both teams just wanted to get this game over with.
The end of Bellevue’s bench, full of young freshman, played large stretches of the fourth quarter. Saint Jo was trying to look for any positive it could take out of this game with the conclusion already set. It was the only quarter the Lady Panthers outscored the Lady Eagles and they did try until the bitter the end. Still, Bellevue took the win 74-35.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.