The Indian River varsity girl’s basketball team lost their opening playoff game to Sussex Tech, 42-20, on Tuesday night, bringing an end to an up-and-down season.
“We didn’t shoot very well. We had some open looks, but we just couldn’t hit those open shots,” said head coach Steve Persolio.
The Indians shot 20 percent from the field, making only eight of 33 shots in the game. Not being able to warm up prior to the game seemed to contribute to the inconsistency shooting the ball.
“We were only allowed to warm up for 20 minutes, and while we’re sitting in the locker room waiting we could hear Sussex Tech shooting in the auxiliary gym,” said Persolio.
“We’re used to a routine — we come out and shoot, then go to the locker room then back to the gym for some more warm-ups, and we didn’t get that tonight,” said Persolio.
Junior Sara Powell and sophomore Kiarra Graves led the team with seven points apiece. Powell was extremely active in the passing lanes, picking off two passes and grabbing five rebounds.
“Sara’s just wasn’t afraid of them. She kept taking it to them,” said Persolio.
The team seemed a little sluggish and out-of-sync as the Ravens swarmed around them defensively. The Ravens switched in and out of zone and man defenses, which seemed to confuse the Indians.
“When you play a zone you want to pass and not dribble, and against man you want to dribble and then pass — we didn’t always do it that way,” said Persolio.
Seniors Ravin Robinson and Jessica Hudson combined for six points and 10 rebounds.
The Ravens’ press was responsible for forcing the Indians to turn the ball over 15 times, as opposed to their own five turnovers. Steals and transition points allowed the Ravens to score 30 of their 42 points in the paint.
Despite not having enough time to warm-up, the Indians also had a shortened practice week due to the snow day last Feb 24.
“I gave them the day off Wednesday, figuring we’d have the rest of the week to practice, but it kind of backfired on me,” said Persolio.
As the season comes to a conclusion, many lady Indian players will begin other sports or continue to improve in basketball.
“We’ll have some open gym time coming up here in the spring and summer at our new facility, so that should help — plus some of our players who don’t play other sports will probably go to a skills camp before next season,” said Persolio.
Next season, the Indians look to rebound and continue to improve their standing in the Henlopen conference. Instead of playing many of the larger school like Caesar Rodney and Dover — Indian River and other Division II schools are lobbying to play everyone in their division twice and then fill out the schedule as needed.