BLYTHEWOOD 43, NATION FORD 33 -- "We picked a bad night not to shoot well," said Nation Ford girls coach Brian Turner.
His team certainly could not have shot much worse than 10-of-57 overall from the floor, 10-of-20 from the free-throw line and 1-of-10 on three pointers in their 43-33 Class AAAA first round playoff loss to the Blythewood Bengals.
The Bengals' dribble penetration and zone defense gave Nation Ford trouble, particularly in the second half, when they held the Falcons to 10 points.
Blythewood went on a 9-0 run in the last 3 1/2 minutes of the first quarter after Nation Ford had scored the first 5 points of the game to lead by 4 at the end of one period.
"We had the score and pace the way we wanted it. We had wide open looks that we missed," Turner said. "They made just enough shots to win."
Nation Ford found its shooting touch in the second quarter. Katie Kozlowski had 7 of her team-high 11 points to help her team lead 23-22 at halftime. The Falcons were also able to convert several of the Bengals' turnovers into layups.
The second half started slowly for both teams. Nation Ford was unable to penetrate Blythewood's zone, and when the Falcons were able to get rebounds, they missed a number of point blank shots.
Nation Ford could not stop Cindy Culbertson, who had a game-high 12 points, from penetrating. Her ability to get to the basket, and the free-throw shooting of Ashleigh Edwards, allowed Blythewood to pull away at the end. Edwards, who had 10 points for the Lady Bengals, was 6-of-6 from the line in the last two minutes.
"In the second half we decided to play a more aggressive zone," Blythewood coach Steve Inabinet said. "Cindy Culbertson did a nice job of penetrating either for a layup or to get it to one of our post players. We were in a slump at the free-throw line, but we've picked it up the last couple of games."