Except for about a four-possession stretch in the third quarter, coach Tracy Anderson thought Buhler's best offense was the Orioles' offense.
Augusta's girls basketball team gave up several layup baskets off turnovers throughout Thursday night's contest. The Orioles had 25 turnovers in all as the Crusaders won 57-43.
Buhler's press defense gave the Orioles fits all night, though Anderson said it shouldn't have.
"We were just really loose with the basketball," Anderson said. "…We gave up four points in the first quarter off a throw-in. It was just a lack of concentration."
After the game, Casady Marlnee was dead tired after putting up quite a performance, which was necessary because she was whom her teammates turned to when they weren't able to get anything going. Marlnee scored a game-high 22 points for Augusta, several of which came at the foul line after she hustled for rebounds or drew contact on the drive, often times while double-teamed.
"It's frustrating that people don't have enough confidence in themselves to shoot the ball," Marlnee said.
Augusta led 7-5 before Buhler scored two straight baskets off inbound steals. The Crusaders forced a couple more turnovers and led 15-9 at the end of the first quarter.
Bailey Reichardt scored two of her three baskets on back-to-back possessions to cut Augusta's deficit to 15-13 to start the second quarter. Marlnee later scored on a drive, then dished to Wesbrooks to give Augusta a 17-16 lead, which would've been higher if not for four straight missed free throws on the next couple possessions.
Buhler went on an 11-3 spurt to take the lead before halftime. Marlnee's 3-pointer was the only basket for Augusta in that stretch. Buhler got hot from behind the 3-pointer line in the third quarter to extend its lead by as much 12 points and cruised the rest of the way.
Hope Travaille, who had one of her better games, defended and rebounded well against Buhler's bigs, and she was able to score four points and dish a couple assists. But she was also frustrated with the team's ball-handling.
"It's very frustrating because we don't value the ball yet, and we need to get to that point," Travaille said.
Reichardt finished with six points. Wesbrooks, who had to walk gingerly off the court to leave the game early, scored four points. Abby Tipton scored three points. Brooke Eberhardt and Carly Sears both added two points apiece.
Marlnee said that the Orioles are better than the way they've been performing. She pointed out that the Orioles will have good offense one game, but poor defense, or strong defense another game with too many turnovers. She just wants to see the Orioles put together a complete game.
"I think we're better than our record shows," Travaille agreed. "We just don't know how to finish. We don't have mental toughness, either."
The Orioles will have to bounce back for a home game against Winfield Friday night.