CARLISLE - With the first third of the season on the books, the Harmony Grove Lady Cardinals were sitting in a nice spot heading into Christmas break. With a 6-4 overall record and a 2-1 showing in 5-3A conference play, the Lady Cardinals hit the court once again on Friday in the Carlisle Holiday Classic. Coming off of back-to-back conference wins over Fountain Lake and Episcopal, the Lady Cardinals had a little bit of a setback when they met England on Friday, falling in a close match 35-30.
“We had plenty of chances to win that ball game,” Head Coach John White said. “We had too many mistakes and played a sloppy ballgame. But not getting to practice due to the break and snow, that happens.”
The Lady Cardinals kept the game close early, trailing by just seven at 14-7 at the end of the first quarter. Still in the fight, the Cardinals didn’t allow England to pull away in the first half at all, keeping the contest close at 19-11 at the break.
For Harmony Grove, the lack of scoring allowed England to stay in front. In the third quarter the Lady Cardinals posted just six points to England’s eight, Harmony Grove’s worst quarter of the game.
But the game was far from over even with only eight minutes left to play. Needing a big spark, the Lady Cardinals dropped 13 on England to give themselves a shot a winning. But even though they held their opponent to just eight points, the damage was done as the Lady Cardinals fell to England 35-30.
“It was just a sloppy ballgame overall and we had too many mistakes,” White said.
Senior guard Laura Britt led the Lady Cardinals with 10 in the loss. Kristen Dempsey followed with nine for Harmony Grove.
In Game 2 of the Classic, the Lady Cardinals bounced back nicely, beating Marianna 42-34 to gain a little momentum before getting back into conference play this week.
“We battled and were able to keep them at bay,” White said. “We pressured them in the second half and that was an advantage for us.”
The Lady Cardinals shot the ball better in Game 2. After trailing 7-3 at the end of the first quarter, Harmony Grove tied the game up at 17-17 heading into halftime.
Despite trying to pull away, both teams could not do so as the game stayed tied heading into the final quarter of the contest now at 25-25.
Hoping for a big quarter offensively, the Lady Cardinals put together their best of the tournament, scoring 17 while allowing nine in the final eight minutes to win 42-34.
“We are really glad to get the win,” White said. “Going against Jessieville this week is going to be tough, but we just need to worry about executing better and getting back into the flow of things.”
The Lady Cardinals were led, once again, by Britt and Dempsey who combined for 20 in the win.
Another big help was the second quarter play of Lydia Windsor who tallied seven to help the Lady Cardinals stay in the ball game.
With the win, the Lady Cardinals move their record to 7-5 on the year. Harmony Grove with battle Jessieville at home on Friday with tipoff set for 6 p.m.