Lady Indians hit scoring drought

The Indian River Lady Indians varsity basketball team blanked against the Milford Lady Buccaneers in a 56-32 defeat on Dec. 19, marking their fourth straight loss since opening the season with a win over the Smyrna Lady Eagles.
Coastal Point • RUSLANA LAMBERT: Lady Indian Michelle Bivans goes up for two against a pressing Milford defense on Tuesday, Dec. 19.Coastal Point • RUSLANA LAMBERT:
Lady Indian Michelle Bivans goes up for two against a pressing Milford defense on Tuesday, Dec. 19.

The Lady Indians (1-4) were within a possession of giving the Woodbridge Lady Raiders (3-1) their second loss of the season but fell 60-56 on Dec. 14. They couldn’t recapture that same effort against Milford in their first home game of the year.

Indian River was tied with Milford at 13 apiece early in the second quarter on an assist from senior guard Kiarra Graves to freshman forward Brandi Buchanan, but the Lady Buccaneers turned up the heat defensively — running full-court presses and causing 34 turnovers. They held a tight defensive shell in their zone defense, forcing the Lady Indians to shoot from the outside.

“We’re the type of team that gets more out of our offense when our defense plays the way we did tonight,” Milford head coach Charles Darling said. “We increase our energy on defense and that translates offensively.”

“They’re a good defense. Not to take anything away from Milford, but we created our own turnovers and we didn’t block out enough,” Graves said. “We had the attitude: ‘If it comes to me then it comes to me.’”

Indian River settled primarily for jump-shots in the first half but went only 2-18 from outside the paint on 26 field goal attempts, with sophomore guard Marnisha Mitchell hitting 2-4 three-pointers. That resulted in a large deficit of offensive rebounding.

The Lady Buccaneers held the rebounding advantage through the first half (22-17) but Indian River had only one offensive rebound, compared to Milford’s nine.

Indian River rebounded better in the second half (17 Milford boards compared to IR’s 16) and had nine offensive rebounds to Milford’s six. But by that time the Lady Buccaneer’s were up-and-running at a fast pace.

Milford’s Shavonda Cephas led all scorers with 17 points, including hitting 2-4 from beyond the arc in the second half, and had 11 rebounds (two offensive rebounds).

The remainder of the Lady Buccaneers starters combined to score 20 points, but their bench picked up the slack and outscored the Lady Indians’ bench 17-2.

“It’s tough to come back off a game where we played one of our best games of the year (the Woodbridge loss) and come out flat,” Lady Indians head coach Summer Chorman said.

“We came out dead but not for a lack of effort,” she said. “We gave 100 percent. We seemed a little frustrated at home and weren’t ready to get our feet under us,” Chorman continued.

The Lady Indians were to have a chance to correct those short-comings when they hosted the Lady Bulldogs on Dec. 21 (after Coastal Point press time) before heading into a long break.

The Lady Indians will host Campus Community and Smyrna on Jan. 5 and 9, respectively.