The Orioles know they will need to rely on their defense this season because their offense isn’t strong, but their offense during the first half of Friday night’s game against Mulvane wasn’t helping their cause at all.

Augusta’s girls basketball team scored just two points in both the first and second quarters at home against the Wildcats, who led 29-4 at halftime. The Orioles’ picked up their play and outscored Mulvane 23-15 in the second half, but that wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit in a 44-27 loss.

“We weren’t bad defensively in the first half, but our offense created transition opportunities for them,” said coach Tracy Anderson. “Not because we were turning the ball over so much as we were shooting so quickly and they were able to get out in transition. And that’s a nice transition team.”

Bre Burkett scored the Orioles’ first and only basket of the first quarter with a nice jumper on the wing at the 3:20 mark. Mulvane’s Ashley Wilson and Destynee Donaldson hit jumpers to close the first quarter with a 12-2 lead.

It was more of the same in the second quarter. Anderson said the Orioles weren’t patient enough in their offensive sets to get good looks. It didn’t help when Casady Marlnee, the Orioles’ leading scorer from last season, got into some foul trouble.

Carly Sears stole a pass, then passed upcourt to Marlnee, who then found Maddy Leedom for an easy layup for the Orioles’ lone points in the second quarter.

“We shot so quickly. We never made their defense shift, and we couldn’t get offensive rebounds, and they were able to transition,” Anderson said. “I emphasized at halftime, we have to be patient. We were trying to make things happen...we have to work within the system.”

The Orioles’ defense intesified in the third quarter. They locked down Mulvane’s post and didn’t give any open jumpers or second-chance opportunities. That allowed the Orioles to get in a little bit of transition on their offensive end for a change. That led to several fouls by Mulvane. Marlnee hit three free throws in the quarter, Bailey Reichardt hit a nice jumper and made a pair of free throws, and Kylie Wesbrooks hit a couple free throws. The Orioles outscored the Wildcats 13-2 in the quarter.

The Orioles got as close as 10 points at 31-21 before Mulvane went on an 11-0 run to thwart any comeback possibilities. Aubree Burkhart scored five points during the stretch to propel the Wildcats.

Marlnee finished with seven points. Reichardt scored six. Wesbrooks had three. Leedom, Burkett, Hope Travaille, Brooke Eberhardt and Sears all finished with two points. Morgan Kirk added one.

Donaldson led all scorers with 14 points. Burkhart had 11 and Wilson finished with nine to lead the Wildcats.

Augusta’s freshman girls team lost to Mulvane Friday night, as well.

The Orioles return to action next Friday with a long, tough road trip against Abilene.