In the dying minutes of the second quarter, the game started to fall apart for the Stillwater High women’s basketball team.
The Lady Pioneers stayed with Edmond Santa Fe for most of the first half, responding when the Lady Wolves challenged them. Then the initial momentum deteriorated and Stillwater was never able to overcome the deficit. Edmond Santa Fe beat Stillwater 63-41 on Tuesday night at Pioneer Fieldhouse, giving the Lady Pioneers their second straight loss to start the season.
“When we started having problems on offense it kind of spilled over into the defense,” said assistant coach Drue Brown. “And in trying to overplay we got beaten on a few easy things.”
At the end of the first quarter, the game was tied at nine. Although Edmond Santa Fe took a 4-0 lead, the Lady Pioneers rallied and second-year guard Aspen Clarkson made back-to-back layups to give Stillwater a 13-11 lead early in the second quarter.
By halftime, that narrow lead had evaporated. Lady Wolves recorded a 9-1 streak, completing it with two consecutive 3-pointers at the end of the first half. Senior Maggie Rasmussen drained a 3 point shot from the left corner, and fellow senior Brooke Robertson followed with a 3 from the right wing, giving Edmond Santa Fe a 27-19 halftime advantage.
The split continued into the third quarter, when the Lady Wolves outscored Stillwater 21-9. The Lady Pioneers hit back with 13 points in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t make up for the spark they lost early on.
Despite the loss, first-year goaltender Janiyah Williams fueled Stillwater’s offense with a high of 22 points. Williams was Stillwater’s only double-digit goalscorer.
“She really did some big hits for us and helped us out,” said assistant coach Nataly Murray. “But we can’t win with one player. She’s fantastic, and I hope we can get some of our other girls back, offensively, to that.
Murray mentioned senior leader Chrissen Harland as one of those players who can make a difference. Murray said several Lady Pioneers are recovering from injuries so everyone is trying to come together as a group and regain their full strength. At the same time, they adapt to changes in coaching.
Murray and Brown are taking on bigger coaching roles this season to support head coach Kendra Kilpatrick who has breast cancer. Kilpatrick is still involved – she was on the pitch with the assistant coaches for the game, and the Lady Pioneers are showing their support this season with their ‘Faith over fear’ shirts and warm-up uniforms which feature pink accents for awareness raising. breast cancer.
Then the Lady Pioneers will take part in the Enid tournament from Thursday. Brown acknowledged that this can be a crucial opportunity for them to build their team chemistry and assess their progress.
“I think it’s really good for us to play the next three games back to back,” said Brown. “And see if we can stay mentally engaged for three games in a row.”
Follow News Press sports reporter Hallie Hart on Twitter @halliehart for updates on Stillwater High athletics.