PLANO — Seneca made 22 percent of its field-goal attempts Monday night, giving the Lady Irish little chance to avenge an earlier tournament loss to Plano in girls basketball.
In fact, the Lady Irish had to score seven points to Plano's two in the final 1:04 just to make the 40-34 final score as respectable as it was. The seven points were three more than they had in the entire second quarter, and one less than their first- and third-quarter totals.
Plano was also under 30 percent from the field, but the Lady Reapers' 14-for-48 (29 percent) effort — along with their 25-10 advantage in free-throw attempts — was sufficient to defeat Seneca for a second time this season. The Lady Reapers were a 46-42 winner Nov. 12 at the season-opening Tim Humes Breakout Tournament in Somonauk.
"I can't tell ya how many shots we missed tonight. We didn't finish," Seneca coach Barb Beck said. "We just shot ourselves in the foot with our shooting, especially considering the number of good looks we did get. We had some good penetration kicks but didn't take advantage."
Plano opened the game on a 7-0 run before junior forward Anna Baker hit a jumper for Seneca. Baker had another basket by the end of the quarter to help the Lady Irish keep it a 10-8 game. By halftime, their deficit had widened to 20-12 as the Lady Irish went 3-of-12 and 2-of-12 from the field in the opening two quarters.
The third quarter was more of the same, with Seneca going 3-for-16 from the field as it deficit grew to 30-20. Its 4-for-14 fourth-quarter shooting was its best of the night, in terms of both total makes and percentage.
Baker was the exception to the rule for Seneca, going 5-for-12 from the field to finish in double figures for the second straight game with 10 points. None of her teammates made more than two baskets.
"We definitely didn't shoot very well," Baker said. "I'm just tried to be more aggressive, work hard and just step up for my team."
There was one area in which the Lady Irish shot well by almost anyone's standards — the free-throw line. There, they were 9-for-10, but they were outscored at the line by Plano even though the Lady Reapers shot a much lower percentage, going 11-for-25. Senior guard Chelsie McCormick had eight of Seneca's free-throw attempts, making seven.
"We never got to the foul line, because we couldn't get a whistle," Beck said. "It sure wasn't due to a lack of penetrating."
Zhate Jackson scored 11 points and Clarisa Martinez and Tachae Miles had 10 apiece for the Lady Reapers, with Martinez also contributing 19 rebounds, five blocks and three steals. Seneca got no more than four points from anyone other than Baker and McCormick, though junior guard Danielle Hauch led the team in rebounds with seven and steals with four.
"Chelsie and Anna have been doing some nice things. We need someone else to step up," Beck said. "We have to regroup. We've been talking to them about buying in to what we're doing. You have to do it 100 percent. We're not getting enough of that right now."