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Lady 'Dogs fight hard but fall short against Wolfpack

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

(Photo by Kent Jones) Le Mars senior Emily Pick attacks the board in the Lady Dogs' matchup with Western on Tuesday. Pick had 15 points on the night.
HULL -- The Le Mars girls basketball team gave it their all, but fell short 80-55 against No. 1 Western Christian on Tuesday.

In a tight first quarter, the Lady 'Dogs were off to a good start. Le Mars seniors Molly Renken and Emily Pick made some big shots from beyond the arc.

"We were shooting the ball really well to start the game," LCS girls coach Judd Kopperud said.

(Photo by Kent Jones) Lady Dogs' sophomore Carolyn Ahlers drives the ball against the Wolfpack. Ahlers racked up eight points Tuesday night.
The Wolfpack shot the ball just as well, resulting in three lead changes early in the game.

"It was a fun stretch there when we were going back and forth with them," Kopperud said.

Midway through the first quarter, Western Christian was able to pull ahead by eight points.

But the Lady 'Dogs fought back and scored four unanswered points to chip away at the Wolfpack's lead.

Western Christian scored the last bucket of the quarter and was up 23-17.

Le Mars started the second period with two turnovers and the Wolverines capitalized on those mistakes.

Down by 12 points, the Lady 'Dogs tried to get back into the game but could not get within reach.

Western Christian knocked down a three in the closing stages of the half to make the score 42-26.

"Some of our shots just didn't drop that had been dropping initially," Kopperud said. "They were able to build a lead in the second quarter."

Le Mars' Renken and Pick each had eight points in the first half.

The Lady 'Dogs came out of the locker room with great intensity and outscored the Wolverines 21-16 in the third stanza.

The score was 58-47 going into the final period.

Le Mars threw everything they had at Western Christian, but they could not gain any further ground on their opponent.

With several players contributing off the bench, the Wolverines went on a 13-2 run to finish the game.

"We just ran out of gas there at the end and their kids were fresh because of their depth," Kopperud said.

Although the Lady 'Dogs lost the game by 25 points, the score does not tell the whole story, the coach said.

"People might see that score and make a judgment just based on that score," Kopperud said. "But everyone that was there knows that we were battling, we were right in it. We just couldn't put a run together ourselves to get the game within single digits."

Renken and Pick finished the night with 15 points each for the Bulldogs. Sophomore Carolyn Ahlers had eight.

Senior Ashley Phelan led her team with seven rebounds. Ahlers collected five boards.

Kopperud was pleased with his team's overall effort.

"We really battled, we really played hard against what could be the best team in the state regardless of class," he said. "We never backed down. We kept battling, we kept fighting. That says a lot about our kids and their character."

The loss puts the Lady 'Dogs at an overall record of 5-10 (5-5 in Lakes Conference play). They will face Spencer in an away game on Friday.

"We can't just walk away from this and be satisfied with doing some things right," Kopperud said. "There's a lot of areas to improve in. We'll keep getting better in practice for a big rivalry game against Spencer."

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