(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
JACKSON -- Nothing went right.
The Sikeston Lady Bulldogs struggled from the field, they couldn't generate turnovers and failed to keep Saxony Lutheran under wraps.
Two points were even deducted from their final score after the game had ended when it was figured out that a phantom bucket was given to Sikeston by accident.
It was opening night and Sikeston, who's trying to implement new roles for virtually a new lineup, couldn't catch a break.
"It seemed like we were just a step slow," Sikeston head coach Matt Schonhoff said. "The whole night we were a step slow."
Saxony took care of the visiting Lady Bulldogs 65-26 at Saxony High School Tuesday giving Sikeston a lopsided loss to start the fresh new season.
"We have players that are in different roles and we needed a game to get us going in that direction. I'm glad we got that game experience tonight," Schonhoff said.
Brianna Mueller, a freshman, led the Lady Crusaders with 15 points and seven assists while Natalie Mueller and Raegan Wieser each chipped in 11.
"Brianna can shoot the ball, she can drive and she's a good passer," Saxony head coach Sam Sides said. "I've got two or three like that, fortunately.
"I was kind of debating starting freshmen over upperclassmen, but I think she stood out and proved my point."
Michala Nichols paced the Lady Bulldogs, who return three players from a 16-10 squad a year ago, with eight points.
Sikeston shot 11 of 35 from the floor (31 percent) and was out-rebounded 16 to 30.
"We played hard, but there's definitely some things that we will be improving and changing," Schonhoff said. "It's a good thing we've got a few days to prepare for Doniphan."
With just under three minutes remaining in the first quarter, Sikeston trailed Saxony 12-6. A 10-0 run placed the Lady Crusaders ahead 22-6 after the first quarter and then 31-6 four minutes into the second period.
Sikeston, who struggled to create their own shots, went on a seven minute scoring drought that aided in Saxony's 29-point lead at halftime.
"Credit that to (Saxony's) defense," Schonhoff said. "I thought their man defense was really good. We haven't really got our shot down yet. We're working on it every single day. We just haven't gotten it down yet."
Brianna Mueller hit two 3-pointers in the second quarter and scored eight points total in the second. Abby Hadler added another six to help boost Saxony's lead.
Although Saxony shot 41 percent in the third quarter (7 of 17), Sikeston couldn't close the gap, shooting 3 of 9 (33 percent) themselves.
"Saxony played extremely well," said Schonhoff. "They hit a lot of shots, got the ball down in the post and created a lot of problems for us."
Nichols scored four of her eight points in the fourth quarter as she was the most consistent shot among her teammates.
"When she finds her spots to where she's under control, she can be a really good basketball player," said Schonhoff. "Sometimes she gets away from herself and gets a little out of control. Her heart is there, she plays very hard and she's continuing to develop."
Saxony (1-0) feature just two seniors, one junior, one sophomore and seven freshman.
"I've got some good, talented, freshman kids that can play some basketball," Sides said. "We can handle the ball fairly well as a group and I think we worked to get great angles on passes. I didn't know how well we'd come out, but I thought we played well for our first game."
Sikeston also lost their junior varsity game 54-15.
SIKESTON (26) -- Aleah Little 6, Michala Nichols 8, Erica Peet 4, Trenice Greer 1, Yolanda Johnson 2, Tyra Bonner 2, Brianna Sherrell 3. FG 11 FT 3-5 F 19. (3-pointers: Sherrell. Fouled out: Sherrell.)
SAXONY (65) -- Abby Hadler 6, Brianna Mueller 15, Natalie Mueller 11, Raegan Wieser 11, Tess Daniel 9, Lauren Hecht 7, Grace Mirly 2, Maddie Brune 4. FG 27 FT 7-15 F 11. (3-pointers: B. Mueller 3, Hecht 1. Fouled out: none.)