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Examiner
  • Fort effort disappoints

  • Fort Osage girls basketball coach Dawn Williams didn’t beat around the bush Thursday night.

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  • Fort Osage girls basketball coach Dawn Williams didn’t beat around the bush Thursday night.
    No need to, not after the Indians suffered a lackluster 58-38 Suburban Middle Seven defeat to Raytown. It wasn’t just the lopsidedness of the defeat that irked Williams – it was the total lack of effort she saw from her girls at Raytown High School.
    “Worst game of the year for us,” Williams said. “We played some pretty ugly games early, but I felt like our effort was there. I felt like our energy and effort was not there tonight.”
    The Indians (9-7, 3-3 conference) withstood severe offensive struggles early in the season during an 0-3 start when they averaged just 27.7 points per game. Against the Blue Jays, Fort shot just 14 of 46 from the field, but they also comitted 25 turnovers – many of which were unforced – as Raytown swiped 17 steals.
    Fort started slow, falling behind 15-8 in the first, and then got worse as the deficit grew to 30-19 by halftime. And that paled in comparison to the Indians’ sluggishness in the third period when they hit just 2 of 11 from the field and suffered a 6-minute, 15-second scoreless drought.
    As the Raytown lead expanded, Williams said she thought her players ditched the game plan and started playing like individuals, a theory supported by the Indians’ assist total (4).
    “It was just a bad night, honestly,” said junior Raven Bunn, who led Fort with 16 points, four rebounds and three steals. “Our defense wasn’t on. Our offense wasn’t on. We weren’t making our shots. It was just not good for us.”
    Williams tried to settle her squad down during a 14-0 Raytown run with a pair of timeouts barely two minutes apart, but nothing she said made much of an impact.
    “No one was wanting to play,” said senior guard Alli Ventresca. “No one wanted to be here really. It felt like that playing. Like, ‘Why are we here? Why are we playing?’”
    The only positive Williams could gleam from the contest was a decent fourth-quarter performance from several of her reserves as Fort outscored the Jays 14-13 over the final eight minutes. Junior Lorena Reyes came off the bench to hit a pair of 3-pointers and finished with nine points, all of which came in the second half.
    “The subs that played in the fourth quarter did a good job,” Williams said. “They brought good energy. But when you’re down 20, it’s a little too late.”
    Bailee Fair paced Raytown (8-9, 4-1) with 13 points and seven rebounds. Dajanae Wilson added 12 points and Ashley Harvey finished with nine points and seven boards.
     

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