The Rolla girls basketball team (1-4) made the trip to Hermann for their second straight road contest on Friday, Dec. 8. The Lady Bulldogs had a big third quarter to take a late lead, but fell apart in the fourth in a 55-47 loss.
Loran Pritchett carried the Lady Bulldogs early on, scoring six of Rolla's 11 points in the opening frame. Hermann kept pace with a balanced attack that saw five different players scoring, as the Lady Bearcats held on to a 13-11 lead through the first quarter of play.
Hermann was then able to take control of the game in the second. After Pritchett dominated the first quarter, she was held scoreless in the second. Karlee Cheesman was able to get a couple of shots to fall, including her second three of the game, but Rolla was only able to manage nine points in the quarter. Brooke Grosse was able to take over the game for Hermann in the second, knocking down a couple of threes, scoring nine points as the Lady Beatcats ended the half out in front 27-20.
After a somewhat quiet first half, Rolla went off in the third. The Lady Bulldogs nearly scored more than they did in the entire first half, dropping 19 points in the third quarter. Six different players scored for Rolla, including a five-point performance by Rebecca Janke, as well as four more from Pritchett and four points from Ellie Rodgers. They matched the offensive turnaround with phenomenal defense, holding Hermann to just six points, as the Lady Bulldogs led 39-33 leading into the fourth.
But a still young Lady Bulldog team couldn't close out the contest. After scoring 19 in the third, Rolla managed just eight points in the fourth quarter. Hermann, meanwhile, went off to the tune of 22 points in the fourth quarter thanks to 11 points from Quincy Erickson and seven points from Allison Stiers and the Lady Bearcats got a come from behind 55-47 win over Rolla.
"We played very well, but were unable to finish the game," said Rolla head coach Luke Floyd. "The third quarter was by far our best quarter of the year. We just need to get a killer instinct and finish teams off when we have the chance.
"Free throws were again an issue for us," continued Floyd. "I’m encouraged that we are in every game, but frustrated that we aren’t able to close out games without reverting to bad habits."
Pritchett led Rolla with 13 points in the loss, adding five rebounds, a block, a steal and an assist. Janke was a force in the paint, making all three of her shots from the field and scoring seven points to go along with a staggering eight blocks, eight rebounds, three assists and a steal. Rodgers added 11 points, four assists and two rebounds for the Lady Bulldogs, while Cheesman chipped in with eight points, four steals and three assists.
Rolla will look to get back in the win column when they make the short trip down 44 for their conference opener against Waynesville on Monday, Dec. 11.