A loss isn’t always disappointing to coach Jim Sutherland.
The Kewpies lost at home 61-57 to the Lee’s Summit Tigers on Saturday night, adding another close loss to their struggle-filled season. Their record is now 7-17.
“I was encouraged by what I saw tonight,” Sutherland said. “All season, we’ve done three things at the end of a game. We haven’t scored, we’ve made bad decisions, and we didn’t stop the other team. Tonight, we made some defensive stops and played some good basketball.”
Many of the Tigers points came at the end of the game against a full-court press , but that was fine with Sutherland.
“The bottom line is that it’s the intensity of effort. It’s bound to happen when you play hard defense.”
The loss came on Senior Night, but the Kewpies weren’t distraught.
“I think we did pretty good tonight, even though we lost,” sophomore Logan Harris said.
“Our team was on the same page tonight, but the little mistakes got us. It’s frustrating.”
Coach Sutherland was impressed by Harris, who finished with 10 points.
“It was really a breakout game for Logan,” Sutherland said. “He really played great for us.”
With 1:17 left in the third quarter, Harris leapt for an offensive rebound, putting it in the basket with authority. The putback would have reduced the Tigers’ lead to 36-34, but the official ruled it as offensive goaltending.
Last night’s near-win gave Sutherland some encouragement for the district tournament, which Hickman will host from Feb. 21-26.
“I’m excited about it,” Coach Sutherland said. “We just need to keep playing good basketball.”
The teams were tied with about threeminutes left in the half, but the Tigers broke away and didn’t trail for the remainder of the contest.
The Kewpies made several rallies, but never came closer than two points. With 48 seconds left in the game, Smith put up a desperate 3 that missed the basket entirely. The miss sealed the win for Lee’s Summit.
Smith was 5-for-12 from beyond the arc and led the Kewpies with 18 points.
“Hickman did a nice job overall,” Lee’s Summit coach Kevin Miller said. “They gave us some easy baskets off the presses, but they played really hard on defense.”