12/19/2012 6:01:00 AM Second half growing pains haunt Kingman's Lady Bulldogs
Kingman High’s Stephanie Goulart fights with Flagstaff Coconino’s Morgan Horn for control of the ball during the second half of the Lady Bulldogs’ 55-52 loss to the Panthers Monday night. KHS traveled to Lake Havasu Tuesday and won’t be in action again until Jan. 11, when they host Flagstaff.
KINGMAN - When the Kingman High girls basketball team started the season 6-0, they knew there were going to be games like Monday's against Flagstaff Coconino.
The Lady Bulldogs jumped out to a 17-12 lead after the first quarter and held a 34-21 lead at halftime.
However, there was a second half still to be played.
The Panthers outscored Kingman 13-4 in the third quarter and took their first lead (49-48) with 2:44 left in the game. They held on to claim a 55-52 win, handing KHS its third loss.
"We haven't really had a close game with tight situations before and we just need to learn how to keep it together," said Taylor Reed, who had 16 points. "We need to learn how to control the ball in tight situations and a close game."
With its core group consisting of five juniors and a combined 10-43 mark over the past two seasons, KHS has jumped out to a 7-3 start this year. But Monday's loss is a reminder that while the Lady Bulldogs have enjoyed great success, there are still some growing pains that will happen.
"We have to develop a leader at one particular moment," said KHS coach Danny Gonzalez. "We have a whole bunch of good juniors, but at some point we need that one person, and it could be more than one person. We would love to have it be more than one person to step up and say, 'I'll pull us through it.'"
Freshman Desirae Gonzalez led KHS with 17 points. Rachel Arave added nine points.
Jasmine Golding led Coconino with 18 points while Riley Hannemann chipped in 17 points.
"We just didn't come out in the second half and play basketball," Gonzalez said. "We didn't take care of the basketball and at times we looked like we were afraid to shoot the ball and take that chance."
After playing eight games in 14 days, KHS had a five-day layoff thanks to weather postponements from games against Prescott and Flagstaff.
"You know it's going to hurt," Gonzalez said of the layoff. "We were playing and we had a good little click going and then having one game canceled for whatever reason and you look for the next one and the next one.
"I think with the layoff, we were stagnant. The last couple of weeks we played a lot of basketball with the River Valley and the Pepsi Tournaments. The girls want to be on the floor."
KHS traveled to Lake Havasu Tuesday and won't be in action again until Jan. 11, when they host Flagstaff.
"We are still learning," said Desirae Gonzalez. "I believe by the end of the season, we are going to come together as a team and do great."