HASKELL - Heading into Christmas break, the Harmony Grove Lady Cardinals had their heads held high coming off of back-to-back 5-3A conference wins after dropping the two previous. After splitting in the Carlisle Holiday Classic, the Lady Cardinals returned home on Friday to face a very familiar foe in Jessieville.
Hoping for another big win against a really good team, Harmony Grove had its dreams crushed as the Lady Lions pounced, pulling away with a 42-15 blowout performance to stay perfect at 13-0 overall and 5-0 in conference play.
“We have had nights where we struggle to shoot the ball anyways,” Head Coach John White said. “Jessieville is a really good defending team and I think the reason we didn’t shoot the ball well was because of the pressure defense that was being put on us.”
Harmony Grove shot just 13 percent from the field in the loss to the Lady Lions.
Jessieville wasted little time jumping out to a commanding lead, taking a 16-3 advantage at the end of the first quarter. Senior post player Molly White hit a free throw while senior guard Lauren Dempsey added a jumper for Harmony Grove’s only points of the first quarter.
The second was not any better for the Lady Cardinals at all. Already with a huge lead, the Lady Lions clawed out to a 27-6 halftime lead. With nothing going the Lady Cardinals’ way in the first half, much of the same continued in the second.
For the third straight quarter, the Lady Cardinals posted just three points as they trailed big, 41-9 heading into the final eight minutes of the game.
With a comeback out of the question, Harmony Grove continued to fight, but Jessieville had already put the game way. The Lady Cardinals allowed a single point to Jessieville in the fourth quarter but could only muster six of their own, resulting in a hard-to-swallow 42-15 defeat.
“Jessieville is all over you everywhere with pressure just about the entire time,” White said. “That is going to force you to turn the ball over.”
Jessieville forced 28 turnovers on the Lady Cardinals in the win.
Junior Katie Wright led the Lady Cardinals in scoring with four while four others added two points each.
Harmony Grove hits the road on Tuesday to take on newly added conference foe E-Stem.
“They have a couple good guards and a big girl,” White said. “We are going to have to show up and do a good job of guarding and rebounding. If we can do that, I think we have a pretty good chance.” Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.