Lady Indians look to recover from Holiday Tournament
The Indian River High School girls’ basketball team headed south after this week to face Snow Hill and Pocomoke high schools in the Stephen Decatur Holiday Tournament on Dec. 27. The Lady Indians were faced with entering the tournament without starting point guard Maggie Allison, however, and fell to both teams, 47-19 and 52-15, respectively.
“There’s no reason to make excuses. We didn’t play well,” said head coach Matt Mayette after last Friday’s loss against Snow Hill. “We were giving up a lot of layups. They’re a good team. They’re well-coached.”
As if playing without their starting point guard wasn’t enough of an obstacle for an already shallow roster, junior Taylor Billinger was also out with an illness. One of the squad’s better players, Billinger was set to take over Allison’s point-guard duties, and missing both girls was tough to overcome.
“We had been working [Billinger] in at point guard at practice, and she had done a nice job,” explained Mayette.
With both Allison and Billinger out, the Lady Indians leaned heavily on senior Alex Myers and freshman Maggie Ford to lead the charge.
“We had a nice week of practice,” Mayette described of his expectations headed into the tournament. “This game was disappointing for us.”
Allison and Billinger should both be returning to the starting five by the time the Lady Indians take to the court again after more than a week’s hiatus. They’ll also have a strong chance of turning things around when they face Laurel High School (2-4) on Monday, Jan. 6, at 6 p.m. at Indian River High School.
Last year, the IR girls dominated the Lady Bulldogs both times they faced them, winning 62-28 at home and 58-27 on the road. This year’s squad may be less experienced, but they certainly have the talent to achieve similar results — especially as leaders such as Myers, Allison, Billinger and Ford become more vocal on the court.
“It’s an experience thing. It takes us a long time to adjust to what’s going on around us,” Mayette explained of his young and inexperienced squad. “With experience, you start to see that. Right now, we’re lacking that leader on the floor that can step up and adjust. Everybody’s leaning on the sideline for what to do, rather than having that leader [to make those adjustments].”