By Jake Thompson
BROWNSBURG — After being bounced out of postseason play last year by the Indiana Deaf Hoosiers, the Bethesda girls’ basketball team hosted a regular season rematch Thursday night. Unfortunately, the outcome left the Patriots again searching for answers as they fell, 54-27.
The biggest problem for the Patriots was their shooting. As a team, Bethesda shot a paltry 13 of 62 from the field and that affected every other part of the Patriots’ game, coach Wayne Leichty said.
“Shots just weren’t falling for us,” he said. “If we don’t hit our first few shots, it seems to have a domino effect. They just weren’t falling and when that happens a lot, they lose focus and watch the shot instead of going for the rebound. It was a snowball effect where our girls started getting disappointed and they lacked the mindset of ‘Hey, I’m ready for the next play and am good to go again.’ That just eats us alive and led to (Indiana Deaf) scoring some easier buckets.”
Also hurting Bethesda was the inside play of the Deaf Hoosiers’ Jasmine Jeter and Giuletta Maucere. The pair dominated each side of the paint early on and, despite the Patriots’ best efforts, each had impressive games.
Jeter finished with a double-double, scoring 22 points and pulling down 16 rebounds. Maucere dropped in seven while collecting eight rebounds.
“Their big girls did a good job with ball control in the middle,” Leichty said. “We tried to focus on those so we would be ready for them because we knew that they’d be tough”
Indiana Deaf jumped out to a 13-3 first quarter lead, prompting Leichty to alter his defensive strategy.
“It just ended up that we had to change the tempo of the game,” he said. “I didn’t think we were responding really well and didn’t see the energy. I thought a press would cause some turnovers and transition buckets to get back into the game. I just wanted to change the pace for us because I think we’re a little bit stronger in a transition game than in half-court sets.”
That helped for a period of time and then the Deaf Hoosiers began to break the 2-2-1 press and score some easy baskets. By halftime, Bethesda trailed 30-11 and at the break Leichty spoke of a renewed effort and the chance to start fresh and chip into the Deaf Hoosiers’ lead.
“I wanted them to come out and play with the energy we left with after an aggressive and tough practice with pads yesterday,” Leichty said.
That strategy paid off offensively as Bethesda outscored Indiana Deaf 13-12 in the third quarter and shot 8 of 14 from the field.
However, the Patriots had a miserable time shooting in the fourth quarter, going 1 of 21 from the field and Indiana Deaf cruised to victory.
The loss drops Bethesda to 8-4 on the year and, despite the dominating game by the Deaf Hoosiers, lessons can be taken from this game, Leichty said.
“Just coming out with a focus at the beginning of the game and not allow mistakes to carry over to many mistakes,” he said. “I felt like that happened tonight and saw some discouragement on the floor. We’ll try to work on that in our time off.”
Carly Baker led the Patriots with 10 points, Cassie Mitchell added five and Morgan Reffeitt chipped in four. Reffeitt led the team with eight rebounds and Emily Hayden and Baker each pulled down six.
Bethesda returns to action following its winter break, hosting Clinton Central at 6 p.m. Jan. 3.