Lady Indians stumble against Seaford, look to Holiday Tournament

Date Published: 
December 27, 2013

Early turnovers were key in the Indian River High School girls’ basketball team’s 54-21 loss against Seaford last Thursday, Dec. 19, as the Lady Blue Jays forced 12 in the first quarter alone.

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Alex Myers dribbles down the court in Indian River’s loss to Seaford on Thursday, Dec. 19.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Alex Myers dribbles down the court in Indian River’s loss to Seaford on Thursday, Dec. 19.“The biggest problem for us was we’d turn the ball over and they’d get transition baskets,” explained head coach Matt Mayette. “To see turnovers turn into scores, it’s tough. It tested our character.”

The turnover differential led to easy fast-break layups and a 17-4 deficit for IR, as Seaford senior Monshea Newsome-Murray controlled the tempo and tallied 15 points, 12 assists and eight steals. Newsome-Murray continuously found teammate and fellow senior Jade Purnell who tallied an impressive 23 points on the night.

Junior Taylor Billinger lead the charge for the Indians, going 6 of 15 from the field and racking up a team-high 16 points. She also went 2 for 3 from beyond the arch and pulled down five rebounds.

“Taylor Billinger played her best game of the year,” said Mayette. “We’ve talked to her about how good she is as a shooter, and last year that’s all we asked her to do. Now, we’re asking her to do a lot more things.”

Freshman Maggie Ford and senior Alex Myers accounted for the rest of the Indians’ points on the night, adding two and three, respectively.

“Another bright spot for us was Patrina Bratton,” said Mayette of his team’s progression. “Defensively, she was flying all over the place and made some things happen.”

The loss put the Lady Indians at 1-3 on the season, but they’ll draw on the momentum they’ve been building when they head to Stephen Decatur High School next week for the Stephen Decatur Holiday Tournament.

The Lady Indians will face Parkside and Snow Hill in that tournament, but they’ll have to do it without starting point guard Maggie Allison, who will be at a lacrosse tournament.

“In order to succeed, you have to fail first,” said Mayette of the outlook for the rest of the season. “This will be a good chance for us to be competitive and see some growth.”