LONGMONT — Considering the larger schools and tough programs the Longmont girls basketball team has faced through its first four games, the Trojans have reason to expect their record to improve.
On top of getting healthy and staying out of foul trouble, Thursday night's 37-32 loss to visiting Overland in the first round of their host Longmont Invite tournament pointed the Trojans in a couple directions where they might seek improvement: turnovers and rebounding.
In the loss to the Trailblazers (4-1), the Trojans (1-3) turned the ball over 28 times and allowed double-digit offensive rebounds in the second half alone. Even still, they were in the game right until the very end.
"I think they got 14 offensive boards in the second half," Trojans head coach Mike Knaus said. "Just think about how many second shots that is. And a lot of times we'll foul on that second shot because we're out of position. That was the ball game. Neither team shot the ball really well, it was all about who was able to go get the ball."
Making matters more difficult down the stretch, junior Emma Carney, the Trojans' tallest player at 6-foot-1, fouled out at the six-minute mark in the fourth quarter. Senior Sarah Nichols, the team's lone senior who led the way with 13 points on Thursday, is battling an injury to her shooting shoulder that she sustained in the team's second game.
The Trojans led the entire second quarter but never by more than five points. After two lead changes in the third quarter, the game was tied 26-26 to start the fourth. Trailing by four points, Trojans junior Riley Bolte hit a long 2-pointer to make it a one-possession game with 3 minutes, 30 seconds left in the game.
The Trailblazers, however, quickly negated the score with a basket off an offensive rebound and the Trojans were unable to score during the remainder of the game.
"I think we're working hard defensively and we have some girls who can shoot the ball," Knaus said. "We're still putting the pieces together and it was another close one that was nip-and-tuck close all the way. I really like the kids and we'll be good. We've just got to start doing some things we're not yet comfortable doing."
With a 46-42 win over Mead standing as their lone win, all four of the Trojans' games thus far have been close. Their three losses, all of which were to bigger schools, have come by an average differential of 5.7 points.
The Trojans will continue their round-robin style tournament against Golden (4-1) on Friday.
Overland 37, Longmont 32
At Longmont H.S.
Thompson 2 1-5 5, Wilson 0 0-0 0, Jackson 1 1-2 3, Brown 3 3-7 9, Felix 1 2-4 4, Walton 0 0-2 0, Charles 2 0-0 5, Lattimore 0 0-0 0, Humphrey 4 3-9 11. Totals 13 10-29 37.
Nichols 3 5-5 13, Wiley 3 0-0 6, Moore 3 0-0 6, Wetterstrom 0 0-0 0, Carney 1 2-4 4, Fixmer 0 0-0 0, D'Epagnier 2 0-0 4, Bolte 2 1-2 5, Sheetz 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 8-11 32.
Score by quarters:Overland 9 5 12 11 — 37 Longmont 10 7 9 6 — 32
3-point field goals — Overland (1): Charles; Longmont (2): Nichols 2. Total fouls — Overland 13, Longmont 23. Fouled out — Felix, Carney, Sheetz.