ERIE — Whatever the Erie girls basketball team had during its first four games was nowhere to be found on Monday night.
The Tigers started the 2016-17 season with a 3-1 record while playing each of their first four games on the road. But in their first home game of the season, the Tigers looked out of sorts for nearly the entire game on their way to a 44-34 loss to Greeley Central.
For a team that entered the season figuring to finish near the top of the Tri-Valley League, losing like that at home isn't going to help them accomplish their goals.
"We're working through some things as a team," first-year head coach Liz Russell said. "We've had four games up to this point, all on the road. We're still working on developing that whole-team mentality. I think maybe tonight, being on their home court, some old habits showed up again."
The Tigers (3-2) trailed by just three points after one quarter on Monday. Once their bad habits showed up, the game got out of hand quickly.
Unable to score in the second quarter, Greeley Central (2-2) outscored Erie 12-0 to lead by 15 at halftime. The home team's struggles continued into the third quarter and the Tigers fell behind further.
"I think we're just working through a culture shift and we're asking them to do some things differently than they have done in the past," Russell said. "We're still trying to find that team mentality because that's what it's going to take to win. We had one point in the third quarter where I just yanked everybody out and put five new girls in. I didn't have my best girls out there but they did a heck of a lot better than the starters did. I don't care how good any individual is, we're only going to be good if we play as a team.
The Tigers began to make a run at the lead in the fourth quarter. Junior guard Jade Phillips hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to eight points with 3 minutes left in the game but the Tigers were unable to pull any closer than that in the final minutes.
Tigers sophomore Kaitlyn Patterson led the team with 13 points and junior forward McKayley Green, who led the Tigers with 13.6 points per game entering Monday, scored eight.
The Tigers will get another shot at their first home win this season when they host Silver Creek (4-1) on Wednesday.
Greeley Central 44, Erie 34
At Erie H.S.
GREELEY CENTRAL (2-2)
Willers 3 0-1 6, Ramirez 6 0-0 14, Guzman 0 0-0 0, Sheets 6 1-3 14, Hidalgo 3 1-1 7, Aldridge 0 0-0 0, Raimer 0 0-0 0, Gomez 1 0-0 3. Totals 15 1-4 44.
Harrell 0 0-0 0, Patterson 5 2-2 13, Huonder 0 0-0 0, Phillips 2 0-0 5, Farineau 1 0-0 2, Berringer 1 0-0 2, Green 4 0-0 8, Hoback 0 0-0 0, Giampetro 0 2-2 2, Kia 0 0-0 0, Humble 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 4-6 34.
Score by quarters:Greeley Central 15 12 12 5 — 44
Erie 12 0 9 13 — 34
3-point field goals — Greeley Central (3): Ramirez 2, Sheets; Erie (2): Patterson, Phillips. Total fouls — Greeley Central 12, Erie 12.