The Rolla girls basketball team (1-5, 0-1 OC) traveled to Waynesville for their Ozark Conference opener on Monday, Dec. 11. Waynesville dominated the game off the back of a 31-point game by Re'shawna Stone to hand Rolla their first conference loss 79-41.
Stone single-handedly beat the Lady Bulldogs in the first quarter with 20 points out of the gate. The senior knocked down four threes in the process and Rolla just couldn't keep up. The Lady Bulldogs scored 12 points as a team in the first quarter, led by six points from Loran Pritchett, and ended the first quarter in a 27-12 hole.
Rolla couldn't dig out of that hole in the second, but managed to match Waynesville's scoring in the quarter. Rebcca Janke led the Lady Bulldogs with 10 points in the second quarter, as both teams scored 17 points in the frame. While Rolla improved a bit on both sides of the ball in the second, they still trailed 44-29 headed into the half.
The Lady Bulldogs' offense evaporated in the second half, as Rolla scored a total of just 12 points after halftime. Waynesville outscored Rolla's entire second half performance in each quarter of the half with 21 points in the third and 12 points in the fourth to bury the Lady Bulldogs 79-41.
"We got beat in every aspect of the game. We did not come to compete at all in this game and that falls directly on me," said Rolla head coach Luke Floyd. "There is no excuse to play our conference opener and not be prepared the way we weren’t and again, that falls directly on me. It is disappointing that in year four, we still have nights where we are taken to the woodshed by our opponents."
Coach Floyd made sure to point out that Waynesville, who sits at 4-2, is a solid team built around Stone. Stone led the way with 31 points for Waynesville, but Victoria Perry and Kiara Shoulders also each scored 13 points. While Waynesville is a good team, coach Floyd thinks his team is capable of more.
"Waynesville is a great, well-coached team and the Stone girl is very good, so I give them a lot of credit for the whipping they gave us," said Floyd. "At the same time, we have to adjust the way we do things and adapt to playing high-level basketball and that comes back on me. We will get back in the gym and try to get ready for Bolivar next Tuesday."
Janke was the leading scorer for Rolla in the loss with 10 points, all of which were scored in the second quarter. She added four rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Ellie Rodgers added seven points, one assist and a steal, while Pritchett scored six points with three rebounds. Rolla had their share of problems with turnovers, handing the ball away 23 times in the loss.
As coach Floyd mentioned, Rolla will be back in action against Bolivar on Tuesday, Dec. 19. That will be their final game before Christmas.