Fort Osage girls basketball unable to overcome early deficit

Bill Althaus
The Examiner
Fort Osage guard Heather Chiesi (23) shoots a floater from the lane between Pembroke Hill's Caroline Kroh (10) and Caroline Kopaken in Monday's game at Pembroke Hill. The Indians fell to 0-2 with a 55-46 loss.

An energized Fort Osage girls basketball team roared out of the locker room at halftime Monday night at Pembroke Hill High School. 

But the Indians soon discovered just how tough it is to climb out of a 17-point deficit. 

The Indians actually outscored the Raiders 35-30 in the second half, but a 19-2 Pembroke Hill first period helped the home team claim a 55-46 victory on a historic night in Pembroke Hill history. 

It was the last home game to be played in the historic 72-year-old gymnasium and a 19-point performance by junior guard Jordyn Smith helped the Raiders give their longtime home a special goodbye. 

“I can’t even imagine the history that has taken place inside this gym,” Fort Osage coach Lindsay Thompson said after her team suffered the disappointing loss.

“I’m not upset with our girls, because you could tell how much they wanted to win by the way we played in the second half. But I’m super upset that we came over here and didn’t play well at all in the first half, especially that first quarter. 

Fort Osage guard Destiny McDonald, left, drives past Pembroke Hill's Emma Angilan (45) for a layup in Monday's game at Pembroke Hill. The Indians fell to 0-2 with a 55-46 loss.

“You look up at the scoreboard and it’s 17-0 and we’re 0-for-17 from the 3-point line and we just didn’t play well. Then, we addressed some things at halftime and played a strong second half – but it was too little, too late.” 

Senior guard Heather Chiesi came up with three quick steals to open the third period and the Indians went on a 7-0 run to get back in the game. 

“It was all about energy and effort,” Chiesi said. “For some reason, we didn’t come out in the first quarter the energy we needed, and that’s disappointing. Because we are a much better team than we showed tonight. 

“At least we played better in the second half, and that’s the way we need to play for an entire game the rest of the season.”

Junior forward Marcie Smith, who scored 11 points, agreed. 

Fort Osage forward Macie Smith, left, goes up for a shot under pressure from Pembroke Hill's Caroline Kroh in Monday's game at Pembroke Hill. The Indians fell to 0-2 with a 55-46 loss.

“This is so frustrating because we didn’t have any energy the first quarter,” Smith said. “We need to play good defense, to set up our offense and we didn’t play well defensively or offensively, in the first half. 

“Then we came out in the third quarter and got some steals, and turned them into baskets and we started playing the way we thought we would play all night. 

“We have to use this as a learning experience, and start with energy, play great defense and effective offense. We did that in the second half, but it was too late.” 

Freshman guard Nikki Bisbee hit two 3-pointers in the second half and finished with 10 points. 

“I don’t know where our energy was the first half,” Bisbee said, “but that’s something we can correct. We just need to play with more energy. Look at the second half. We know how important energy is and we’re going to play with more energy the rest of the season.” 

Junior guard Ashlyn Buntin finished with 10 points for the Indians, who fell to 0-2 after 65-44 loss to Grandview Friday.

Fort Osage guard Destiny McDonald, left, receives instructions from head coach Lindsay Thompson during Monday's game at Pembroke Hill. The Indians fell to 0-2 with a 55-46 loss.