By Jeff Robison
INDIANAPOLIS — After making a run to Marion County Tournament semifinals last week, the Ben Davis Lady Giants were reminded they still have some work to challenge the area’s best teams.
Last Wednesday night, host Ben Davis failed to crack Roncalli’s zone defense, resulting in a 58-41 loss to the tournament runners up.
Other than getting an initial 2-0 start, the Lady Giants were on the short end of the scoreboard, mostly due to shortcomings in turnovers and perimeter shooting.
Roncalli’s variations of halfcourt trap zone defense and 3-2 zone defense plagued the Lady Giants into 23 turnovers, while Ben Davis also missed all 16 field goal attempts outside the three-point arch.
Ben Davis coach Joe Lentz admitted his team was still trying to find its niche — especially at point guard, where senior Amber Jones has had to improvise playing out of her normal frontcourt position.
“We’re getting to the point where we shouldn’t be playing this way anymore,” Lentz said. “There were positives things. For playing out of position, Amber (Jones) doesn’t do a bad job. We’re working on skills, and trying to develop some guard play. We’ve got some of the things there, but we’re not there yet.”
Though Ben Davis trailed by just four points (25-21) at halftime, Roncalli secured the game in the third quarter, with a run fueled by Purdue-bound Bridget Perry.
Perry tallied 10 of her game-high 19 points in the third quarter as Roncalli broke loose early on a 12-1 run that opened the second half. As Ben Davis struggled with a rash of turnovers, Perry and the Rebels got their offense rolling in a transition game.
“We just missed shots, got a little frustrated, made some bad passes, and didn’t get back on defense,” Lentz said.
There was a stark contrast in the Ben Davis output when the Giants were committing turnovers (17 combined in the first and third quarters), as opposed to keeping Roncalli in a halfcourt attack during a 13-11 second quarter won by Ben Davis.
“We hit the boards, played better defensively, and got the ball in the right places,” Lentz said. “But, that all kind of fell apart in the third quarter. That’s the mark of a young team. Our younger kids need to mature.”
Lentz juggled his lineup, trying several players as perimeter shooters. But none were able to put the ball in the basket, and that ended up costing the Giants (3-5) their fifth loss, after picking up two wins last week.
Despite carrying the ball handing load too, Jones paced the Ben Davis offense with 17 points. Freshman Ae Rianna Harris provided a lift off the bench with 7 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Roncalli (8-1) had Perry lead all scorers with her 19 points. She had plenty of support as teammates Lindsay Corsaro (15 points), Kellie Kirkhoff (12), and Elizabeth Bowers (10) also recorded double figure points.