Slow start dooms Lady Cougars against Wellington-Napoleon

Crest Ridge’s Leah Shanks puts up a layup in the first half of the Lady Cougars 54-37 loss to Wellington-Napoleon on Saturday, Jan. 25.

WELLINGTON — A sloppy, slow start doomed the Crest Ridge Lady Cougars against Wellington-Napoleon on Saturday, Jan. 25, with Crest Ridge’s four-game winning streak coming to an end with a 54-37 loss.

“We can’t give a good team like that a 17-point lead at halftime and then decide to play offense,” Crest Ridge coach Katie Woolsey said.

A 7-0 run at the heart of the first quarter allowed the Lady Tigers to spring a 19-10 lead.

The Lady Tigers, who are receiving votes in the Class 2 Missouri Basketball Coaches Association poll, doubled up Crest Ridge by halftime, 34-17.

“That is a game where Wellington came out and honestly just played better, they earned it in the first half and set the tone,” Woolsey said.

The Lady Cougars were held to just two field goals and a pair of free throws in the second quarter while Wellington poured in 15 points.

“We allowed their defense to dictate what we were allowed to do and that’s not how you can play in a game this much,” Woolsey said.

Crest Ridge, who fell 44-41 to Wellington-Napoleon in the I-70 conference tournament championship game, made a brief run at the beginning of the third quarter to get within 10, 34-24.

“We challenged them at halftime and they really fought well and it looked like we could make a run, but we had some girls with fouls that carried over into the second half and that affected our ability to be aggressive on the defensive end,” Woolsey said. “We used a lot of energy to get that 7-0 run and then didn’t have enough energy to finish it off.

Wellington answered with a 5-0 spurt of its own that stymied any offensive momentum the Lady Cougars mustered.

Crest Ridge outscored Wellington 14-11 in the third quarter, but never crossed back into a single-digit deficit, trailing 45-31.

Cam Martin led the Lady Cougars with 14 points with 10 coming in the second half.

Leah Shanks added 10 points with eight coming in the first half.

Crest Ridge hosted the Clinton JV team in the opening round of the Quarry City Classic on Monday, Jan. 27. The Lady Cougars are the three seed in their home tournament.

Sports Editor Randy Speer can be reached by emailing randy.speer@dsjnow.com, by calling (660) 747-8123 or on Twitter at @RandySpeer_DSJ.

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