For the Daily Reporter
CONNERSVILLE — Inconsistent play turned a promising start for the Mt. Vernon girls basketball squad into a narrow loss Friday night on the road.
Coming out with stifling defense and a punishing inside game, the Marauders looked confident to capture their first victory of the season. But, a difficult second half led to their 46-41 defeat to the host Connersville Spartans.
At the end of the first quarter, the Marauders lead 14-7 behind an inside game and a zone defense that was difficult for the Spartans to break. The Marauders lead remained five at the half as senior center Sophie Williams lead the team with 10 points in the half.
Her inside presence also opened up space for shooters like sophomore guard Sydnee Perry, who had eight first half points.
Unfortunately for the Marauders, the third quarter doomed them. Not only did they only score three points in the quarter, but the Spartans scored 16 to open up an eight point lead heading into the final quarter.
Connersville leading scorer Marley Smith, who had been contained during the first half, scored most of her 19 points in the third quarter to help the Spartans take control of the game.
The Marauders, fighting a significant foul disadvantage, worked hard to comeback, but could not quite make up the difference. Still down eight points midway through the quarter, the Marauders fought back to within two points with 1:33 remaining behind senior Mary Fleming and freshman Lexi Shelton bruising the Spartans in the paint.
However, despite having the ball with a chance to tie, the Marauders couldn’t get the shot to fall that would have put them over the top. The Spartans were able to close the game out at the free-throw line.
The loss drops Mt. Vernon to 0-3 on the season. The Marauders take the court Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. as they travel to face Lawrence Central.