RUSHVILLE — After 24 minutes Steve Doud had seen enough.
The third-year Mt. Vernon girl’s basketball coach watched his team fall behind 39-17 on the road, struggling to keep up with Rushville’s physical play in a game that was marred by fouls.
After a close play under the basket, Doud voiced his displeasure, earning an ejection from what turned out to be a 58-30 loss for Mt. Vernon on Friday night. The loss dropped the Lady Marauders to 2-3 on the season, while Rushville improved to 4-0.
“Hats off to the Rushville coach, (Melissa Marlow) does a great job and runs a nice program. They won’t lose many games this year, and it is going to take a heck of an effort from someone to beat them. They are strong, play hard and play smart,” Doud said.
Early on, however, it appeared as if it might be a tight game for both squads.
After a 3-pointer from Alisha Markley to open the game, Mount Vernon would respond with a 3-pointer of its own from Sydnee Perry to knot the game at 3-all. But turnovers and a hot shooting performance behind the arc from Markley gave Rushville a quick 15-5 advantage after the first quarter.
Rushville would continue to pad its lead in the early moments of the second quarter, getting yet another 3 from Markley and taking advantage of several Mount Vernon turnovers en route to a 25-10 halftime lead.
“We knew Allie Smith and Alisha Markley were shooters. The bottom line is we let Alisha Markley get loose and she got hot and hit four 3-pointers in the first half. We cannot give up baskets like that,” Doud said.
The halftime break did little to slow down Rushville, who opened the third quarter hot, stretching the lead to 36-13 and prompting Doud to call a time out with just over two minutes left.
Mount Vernon was paced by Sydnee Perry, who scored 10 points in the loss, while Megan Gawrys and Mary Fleming each chipped in with six points.
Doud immediately pointed out after the loss that a two-game win streak was over.
“I thought in the last two games, we had made some strides, and tonight, it was two steps back. The girls got a taste of the learning curve against physical play and an understanding of how to play against physical play,” he said.
Mt. Vernon will look to move to .500 on the season tonight when they take on East Central.
“They’re a good team, and they bring back a lot of what they had last year,” Doud said.