Olathe It was a three-adverb night for Free State's girls basketball team.
The Firebirds were really and truly and definitely dreadful particularly in the first half while suffering a 63-32 thumping from Shawnee Heights in the first round of the Olathe East Invitational on Thursday night.
Shawnee Heights 63Free State 32
|SHAWNEE HEIGHTS (63)Dana Robbs 3-0-0 6Andrea Moomaw 4 2-2 10Jessica Mainz 2 3-4 7Laura Biery 2 3-4 7Emily Smith 1 1-2 3Carrie Edmonds 1 0-0 2Shannon Nesbitt 2 0-0 4Heather Whitcomb 0 0-1 0Audra Lawson 4 1-2 9Dani White 3 2-2 9Laci Schreiber 2 2-2 6Totals 24 14-19 63.|
|FREE STATE (32)Lauren Wright 2 2-2 7Jayme Lisher 1 1-2 3Ramona Daney 0 0-0 0Stacie Garland 1 1-2 3Julie Seidel 1 0-0 2Ashley Taul 2 0-0 4Amber Hinton 4 0-0 8Kirby Beneventi 0 5-6 5Totals 11 9-12 32.|
|Three-point goals: White, Shawnee Heights; Wright, Free State. Total fouls: Shawnee Heights 12, Free State 16. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: Shawnee Heights 26, Free State 30. Field-goal percentage: Shawnee Heights 24-58 (41.4 percent), Free State 11-40 (27.5 percent).|
"There will be growing pains," said Free State coach Craig Hershiser who has only two players who had varsity experience with the Firebirds last year.
Hershiser had seen plenty of positives in the Firebirds' season-opening 62-40 win over Kansas City Wyandotte a week ago.
Then in the first half against Shawnee Heights, Hershiser saw the Firebirds commit 17 turnovers and miss 16 of 17 shots while digging a 23-7 hole at the break. Free State's only first-half basket was a three-pointer by Lauren Wright early in the second quarter. Otherwise, Free State had four free throws.
"We got a little frantic," senior guard Stacie Garland said of the Firebirds' first-half flop. "We weren't taking the best shots because we were trying to score so bad."
Added Hershiser: "We were out of sync. We were disrupted."
Heights, which had opened last week with a 10-point loss to Topeka High, may have not had the Firebirds' complete attention.
"There are some things we need to understand," Hershiser said. "One is the kind of intensity it takes to play against a quality opponent, and another is playing team defense."
Only in the third quarter did the Firebirds compete. They were outscored 17-16 during those eight minutes, but they were competitive.
"At times we understood what we needed to do," Hershiser said, "and at times we didn't. And Heights made us pay for it."
Hershiser had more point production from three players off the bench (17) than he did from his five starters (15). Amber Hinton, a 5-foot-9 junior, had a team-high eight points in a reserve role.
Jayme Lisher, a 5-foot-8 junior who scored 16 points in the win over Wyandotte, struggled with foul trouble and settled for three points. With Lisher on the bench in the fourth quarter, Heights owned the paint.
The rematch with the Bulldogs will be at 5:30 p.m. today in the O-East auxiliary gym.