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The Shelby County girls' basketball team went cold, ice cold at Manual Friday. The Lady Rockets' (13-7) shot just 13 percent from the field in the first half and just under 20 percent for the game in a 54-33 loss to the host Lady Crimsons (17-3).
"We just didn't hit shots," SCHS head coach Sally Zimmerman said. "We were four of 29 in the first half, but when I watched the film, only two of those 29 were bad shots. It's not like we weren't getting good looks, we just couldn't hit anything."
Manual led 18-7 after the first quarter and 35-14 at halftime, taking full advantage of the Lady Rockets' icy stretch.
"We only had 13 turnovers for the game, we shot well from the free-throw line and we got a lot of good shots, but we just couldn't hit anything," the coach said. "I didn't really feel like they just beat us up and down the court. I think the score was misleading because we just had one of those games where everybody was cold."
The Lady Rockets' played Manual even in the second half, 19-19, with a strong defensive effort, but the shots never started falling. The girls cut Manual's lead to 14 points, 40-26, on a Karissa Nicholson jumper with 2:25 to play in the third, but Manual answered with a seven-point run as the Lady Rockets continued to play cold.
"We talked at the half about stepping up our level of play and maybe the shots would start falling," Zimmerman said. "When we cut it to 14, I thought if we could get it to 10 by the end of the third we'd have a good shot, but our shooting was just killing us. There was nothing we could do."
Allison Morris led the Lady Rockets with 13 points, including three of five from three-point range, but the rest of the team combined to hit just one of 15 three-point shots, and as a team the Lady Rockets hit just seven of 36 two-point shots.
"Allison had a nice ball game," Zimmerman said. "She scored, had some steals and some assists, she really played a nice game."
However, Morris was the only Lady Rockets in double figures. Nicholson was next in the scoring column with six points.
Raechele Gray finished with a career low three points on one of 13 shooting.
"They did a nice job on her, but she was still getting good looks, but it was the same with everybody -- we just couldn't hit our shots," Zimmerman said. "I don't know why, we missed a lot of shots that we normally hit. It wasn't as much what they did as what we missed."
However, Zimmerman said this loss will help the Lady Rockets as the season starts to wind down.
"I think this game will really help our post players," Zimmerman said. "I just have a feeling that playing a very strong, physical team like Manual, and seeing how they play is going to help us. We're not going to have another shooting night like that. We held a very good team to just 19 points in the second half, and if we hit some of those shots we're right back in it. We have plenty of chances left against top competition to make amends for this game."