BLUFFTON – Just when you think things can’t possibly get any worse; something happens that makes it worse.
The Perry girls’ basketball team, six freshman, four sophomores and one junior, are off to a 0-6 start as they struggle with turnovers caused by inexperience.
Saturday morning four starters arrived late for the bus trip to play at Bluffton, so coach Ted Patton sat them, and his team that took the floor was at even more of a disadvantage.
Bluffton (9-3) took full advantage of the young Commodores as they sprinted out to a 24-0 lead that would grow to 27-2 after one quarter of play. Lily Floyd scored the only points for Perry at the 1:50 mark of the quarter.
The Pirates, whose roster is comprised of four juniors, three sophomores, and three freshman, did employ a zone press the first quarter and that caused the Perry squad to commit 14 turnovers in the period.
Bluffton coach Eric Garmatter began to substitute liberally early in the second quarter as the Pirates went to the half time break with an insurmountable 41-5 lead. The Pirates enjoyed a 14-5 scoring edge in the quarter.
The Pirates added insult to injury as they went on to outscore the Commodores 19-0 in the third quarterto hold a 60-5 lead going to the fourth stanza.
The two squads would go on to break even in the fourth quarter at 5 points each to account for the final score.
Bluffton placed nine players in the scoring column and four in double digits for the game. Alivia Koenig and Libby Schaadt tied for game-high scoring honors with 14 points each. Avery Rumer added 11 points and Ashley Eachus finished the contest with 10 points.
A disappointed coach Patton was quick to praise his players that were pressed into action.
“We were missing four starters because they were late this morning; it’s very disappointing that we took a step backwards today,” Patton commented. “Our kids fought hard and played hard; they did us a good job for the situation they got thrown into.”
Bluffton coach Garmatter was realistic about the game and the predicament Perry was in.
“They are really, really young.” Garmatter said. “Our substitutes got a lot of minutes and the opportunity to play; we got to work on some things that we normally don’t do.”
Statistics showed just how lop-sided the game was.
Perry shot just 14 percent from the field compared to 44 percent for Bluffton. The Commodores committed 28 turnovers to just 14 for the Pirates, and Perry lost the rebound battle to the much taller Bluffton squad by a 41-13 margin.