The Lady Liberators led from start to finish in the consolation game of the Aurora Tournament. Aurora made the game interesting in the final few minutes thanks to a couple of 3-pointers, several free throws and a couple of Bolivar turnovers.
Aurora closed the gap to 58-55 on a pair of Rachel Waggoner free throws with 22.5 seconds remaining. After Shelby Roberts made 1 of 2 free throws for Bolivar, Aurora’s comeback hopes were erased when it committed a turnover near the halfcourt line.
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Both teams struggled against the full-court press. Bolivar scored a layup off the opening tip then forced a quick turnover with its press to lead 4-0 just 12 seconds into the game.
“It was frustrating watching it because we talked about the things they do with the press and how we’d be able to break it,” said Aurora coach Kevin Besch. “We know how to do it, it’s just in a game situation the adrenalin is running and we forget what we normally do.”
Bolivar’s press continued to bother Aurora throughout the game, but the Lady Houn’ Dawgs also forced turnovers with their press.
“That press has been our bread and butter in the past,” Besch said. “Now we’ve got some young girls that are learning how to do that. We’re still in a little bit of a learning mode at this beginning point of the season. But we’re starting to look better, we looked better this game than the last couple of games.”
Waggoner’s 3-pointer cut the Bolivar lead to 47-39 with 4:39 remaining. Aurora continued to cut into the deficit, but Roberts helped Bolivar maintain its lead. She hit 10 of 12 free throws overall, including 7 of 8 in the final 1:18.
Aurora dropped to 0-4 overall. Besch figured the early schedule would be challenging for his young team that has just one senior.
“Everybody knows in this area, this is usually one of the toughest tournaments,” Besch said. “That’s why we’re down to five teams, it’s hard to get them all in here. But we like it. We want to prepare not only for the season, but for the postseason.”
Bolivar 61, Aurora 55
Aurora 10 10 13 22 --- 55
Bolivar 13 16 16 16 --- 61
Aurora – Lakin Waggoner 14, Rachel Parker 14, Sydney Shoemaker 11, Katie Juracek 5, Kendra Eden 5, Jordan Hall 4, Regain Cline 2
Bolivar – Daiwa Emmert 15, Shelby Roberts 12, Randi Hancock 12, Peyton Peavey 9, Madison Campbell 8, Mary Beth Payne 5