FAIRFAX, Mo. - The Nodaway-Holt girls basketball team knew coming into the season that scoring would be difficult at times. On Tuesday night, the Trojans scored just 20 points in their opening round, 24-20, loss to the Rock Port Blue Jays in the opening round of the Fairfax Tournament.
“We struggled with their zone and getting good shots,” Trojans coach Shawn Emerson said. “We’re going to struggle at times offensively, we know that, but defensively you could see we were working to limit shots from different players.”
The Trojans jumped out to an early 8-0 lead with five of those points coming from Shaina Culp. The Blue Jays answered Nodaway-Holt with a 6-2 run to end the quarter, cutting the Trojans’ lead to four.
The two offenses combined for just seven points in the second quarter. Culp made one of two free throws, while the other three points came on a three-pointer with 1:50 left in the half.
“Offensively we attacked the baskets, they weren’t going at times, but I felt like we had some decent shots,” Emerson said. “Sometimes we got out of rhythm because of the defense they were playing too.”
The Blue Jays took their first lead of the game with a layup from Darius Skillen. Nodaway-Holt quickly regained the lead with a three-pointer on its next possession.
Junior Kirsta Hart made her second three of the game with 1:35 left in the third quarter, giving the Trojans a 20-16 lead and their final points of the game.
“Offensively we attacked the baskets, they weren’t going at times, but I felt like we had some decent shots,” Emerson said. “Sometimes we got out of rhythm because of the defense they were playing too. We talked about it at the beginning of the year that we are going to make things ugly, it’s not always going to be pretty.”
Rock Port’s three with 7:35 remaining in the game began a scoreless drought that lasted just under five minutes.
The loss drops the Trojans to 4-7 on the season, but they’ve won three of their last five games. Nodaway-Holt will be back on the court Thursday as they take on the Savannah junior varsity team at 7:30 p.m.
“I told the girls, we led most of that game, it just came down to believing in ourselves in the end,” Emerson said. “You know we lost Kloe Jenkins, which was a big loss because we rely on her both offensively and defensively. If we have her, maybe it’s a different game.”