A much improved season for the Fort Osage girls basketball team came to a screeching halt in the first round of the Class 5 District 15 tournament.

Turnovers, lack of offense and shoddy defense were all problems for the Indians against No. 5 seed Liberty North. After taking a 9-3 lead in the first quarter, Fort Osage stumbled the rest of the way as it fell 57-26 to the Eagles Monday at Truman High School.

Making matters tough for the Indians going into Monday’s game was the absence of starting guard Alecia Monday, who was out with an ankle sprain.

“She has a pretty severe sprain,” Fort Osage coach Lindsay Thompson said of Monday after her team finished 11-13. “She did everything she could to get ready over the last 72 hours to be ready today. It just wasn’t quite there today. She goes. She’s a go-getter and scores well and shoots well. That one hurt for sure.”

It looked like the Indians were going to be able to get by without Monday in the early going. Fort Osage guard Camryn Miller made the team’s first two field goals on a fast-break layup and on a shot in the paint. Kiyley Flowers then sank a 3-pointer to make it 9-3, but that was the high point for the Indians.

Liberty North went 12-0 run to take a 15-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. Flowers was able to pull her team within two after a fast break layup and a pull-up 3-pointer from the right wing. But the Eagles went on a 12-4 spurt from there to go into halftime up 31-21.

Things really started to get away from Fort Osage in the third period when it shot just 1 of 10 from the field and had seven turnovers. North took advantage as Talia and Tamia Emerson combined for 13 points in the third to help the Eagles go into the fourth with a 51-23 edge.

Things didn’t go much better for the Indians in the fourth. Miller, who had 10 points, converted a conventional three-point play on her team’s first possession. They didn’t score again.

“We got our butts kicked on the boards,” Thompson said. “We didn’t do a very good job of owning the boards and that doesn’t equal a win.

“Sometimes when we get frustrated defensively, we take unnecessary risks and that’s what we did today.”

Despite the loss, Thompson was proud of the way her team vastly improved from last season, improving to 11 wins from just two last season.

“In the locker room (after the game), we talked about all of the reasons we have to be proud,” Thompson said. “I am extraordinarily proud of these girls who went from two wins to 11 wins and had lots of teams on the ropes. This is what building a program is.”