The Jonesville Comets were deficient in several areas Friday night, but head coach Tom Dunn was less frustrated with the missed shots, unforced errors and final score and more concerned with the overall effort his team gave.
After falling behind Athens 13-3 in the first quarter the Comets (2-3 overall, 1-1 Big Eight) showed very little vigor and excitement the rest of the way in a 49-36 loss, something Dunn said is inexcusable.
“The team with the most intensity won tonight. We lacked there and as a coaching staff we’ve got to get them to play hard,” he said. “We’ve got to come out with more fire and hit the boards harder and want to play harder. They ate us up on second-chance points and I think that was the difference in the game.”
Another key difference in the contest was the ability of the Indians’ Harris’ girls to get to the basket.
Kelsey Harris scored a game-high 17 points, including a 9-for-15 showing at the foul line, and Megan Harris added in 10, included six from the charity stripe.
Dunn knew they were dangerous when they got into the paint, but his team couldn’t do a whole lot about it.
“Our strategy was to get them to shoot from the outside and they didn’t make many shots from the outside,” he said. “They just took it to the hole and we had to collapse and do a better job stopping them. Kelsey Harris is tough, she beat us baseline a lot.”
Kyleigh Stevens added 11 for Athens.
One of the positives for Jonesville in the loss was the fact they stayed within striking distance despite being out-rebounded and missing several gimmes that could have cut even further into the lead.
A Jenna Kast 3-pointer drew the Comets within eight with 1:16 remaining, but that was the same margin Jonesville trailed by with six minutes to play and the closest they would get.
Brooke Nichols and Ashlende Teller both scored seven, but it was a couple of post players doing most of the damage for Dunn’s squad.
Shaila Rossman had a double-double of 10 points, 12 boards and four blocks, and sophomore Brianna Aemisegger had eight points and six rebounds.
“I thought Aemisegger played a good game, she had her best game as a varsity player. So we’ve got some stuff to build on,” Dunn said.
Despite the disappoint in how his girls never really made significant headway after getting down by double digits early, Dunn was realistic about the implications of a single game this early in the season.
“We get to play them again. We’ll just go into the Christmas tournament, take some time off and see what happens — we’ll be alright,” he said.