CARBONDALE Brent Shaffer didn't yell Friday night and he didn't get mad either.
Shaffer's Wellsville High girls basketball players walked out of Santa Fe Trail's locker room with their heads held high, as if they had won.
The Eagles were routed by the Chargers, 69-20, on Friday, but for a team that has lost 24 in a row, Shaffer found some positives.
"They showed a lot of effort tonight," said the first-year WHS coach, "that's what we were looking for. They're (Santa Fe Trail) a good team. We didn't shoot well, but even if we did, we still wouldn't have beat them.
"But the effort was there. Now our job as coaches is to build from that and teach these girls the basic fundamentals. I honestly believe by the time sub-state comes around we will be a competitive team. We're going to get this turned around."
The Eagles have their work cut out for them.
Friday, not only was Wellsville's shooting bad the Eagles made only eight field goals and shot a dismal 17 percent but the Eagles had 16 turnovers and were down 27-5 before they made their third field goal.
The Chargers were clearly on cruise control.
A stingy defense and powerful inside game, led by 6-foot-3 junior Melisa Ball, proved dominating.
"There's always a lot of questions before opening day," Charger coach Brenda Dahl said. "There's always a few jitters, but what an excellent way to start the season."
Santa Fe Trail, which was 15-7 last season and tied for third in the Kaw Valley League, led 14-5 after the first quarter.
The Chargers' defense clamped down even harder in the second quarter allowing just three points. By the half, Wellsville had made only three of 19 shots and had committed 22 turnovers.
"We really wanted to come out and send a message," said senior guard Janelle Arnold, one of four Chargers who scored nine or more points. "And I think we did that."
With Arnold leading the attack from the outside, Bell took her turn down low scoring eight of her game-high 17 points in the second. Bell also grabbed nine rebounds.
Freshman guard Lindsay Boss, who was scoreless in the first half, exploded for 11 points in the third quarter hitting all five of her shots. Boss finished with 13 and senior forward Leslie Wurdeman added nine.
"Our defense took over in the second quarter and that really got us pumped," Dahl said. "We still have a lot to work on, but we will take this to open the season."
Bell said Friday was merely a tune up for bigger things to come.
"We would have like to work on a few more things, but we did what we had to do tonight," she said. "If we wanted to do more, we could have but we'll get better chances to do some other things the rest of the season."
Santa Fe Trail 69, Wellsville 20
Wendy Moore 1-6 0-0 2, Dani Patton 2-12 2-3 6, Lacey Roecker 3-6 1-3 7, Stacia Moore 0-5 0-2 0, Amanda Pearce 0-5 0-0 0, Jacklyn Neis 0-3 0-0 0, Michelle Moss 1-3 0-0 2, Jami Breeding 0-1 1-2 1, Jami Samsel 0-2 0-2 0, Krystle Barthol 0-0 0-0 0, Kimberly Hughes 1-2 0-0 2, Bailey Carpenter 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 8-47 4-12 20.
SANTA FE TRAIL (69)
Leslie Wurdeman 2-8 5-9 9, Lindsay Boss 6-8 0-0 13, Melisa Ball 8-12 1-2 17, Ali Creek 2-12 0-0 4, Janelle Arnold 4-7 2-2 10, Jennie Deitrich 1-5 2-2 4, Renay Carter 1-5 0-0 2, Erin Lee 2-2 0-0 4, Alexis Pryor 3-4 0-0 6. Totals 29-62 10-15 69.
Wellsville (0-1) 5 3 6 6 20
Santa Fe Trail (1-0) 14 21 20 14 69
Three-point goals: Wellsville 0-1 (Pearce 0-1); Santa Fe Trail 1-5 (Boss 1-1, Creek 0-2, Wurdeman 0-1, Arnold 0-1). Total fouls: Wellsville 13, Santa Fe Trail 19. Turnovers: Wellsville 32, Santa Fe Trail 22.