HELENA, Mont. – The Lewis-Clark State College women’s basketball team will not get the chance to defend its five straight Frontier Conference Tournament titles. With a 65-51 loss to Carroll College on Saturday the Warriors’ 2012-13 season has come to an end.
Because LCSC suffered a heartbreaking loss to Montana Western on Friday, some may have predicted that the Warriors would be too drained and disheartened to put up a fight on Saturday. Such a prediction would have been way off.
“This team never stopped fighting,” said Orr, who has now coached 12 full seasons with the Warriors. “We never played harder than what we played tonight. I’m so proud of how hard we fought. We had no give up at all.”
LCSC had every chance to throw in the towel after digging a 40-22 hole by halftime against Carroll. But the young team did what it has done all season long and found a way to stay in it.
“I give Carroll a lot of credit. They came out really hot from the 3-point line, and it put them in a relaxed state and they played with a lot of confidence.”
Nevertheless, LCSC scratched its way back in the second half and was able to cut the deficit to 10.
Annie Kane (pictured above), the Warriors’ only senior, ended a great season and a solid career with an outstanding 24-point effort. She was 2-for-5 from the outside and 6-for-7 at the foul line,
“They doubled her,” said Orr. “She’s tough. She finished like a Warrior.”
Carroll, which had the luxury of having last night off, hit the floor with energized legs and quickly built a 15-4 lead in the first half. And in the second half, when the Warriors’ began to pull closer, the Saints continued to answer with big shots.
Four Saints scored in double digits. Bailey Snelling led with 17 points, Megan Patterson and Torrie Cahill had 11 points, and Joey O’Neill had 10. Patterson led the game with eight rebounds.
Outside of Kane, only Tanis Fuller (10 points) scored in double digits.
Overall, the Warriors were outshot 47 percent to 39 percent, and outrebounded 37-27. All other statistical categories were nearly equal, though the Warriors made just three 3-pointers to Carroll’s nine.
“It seemed like everything we did they countered. They’re a solid team. There were a couple of possessions where we were close to cutting the lead to single digits, but we just didn’t hit the shots.”
Lewis-Clark State finishes the season at 8-21 overall and 5-10 in league play. The team will end up seventh in the conference standings, just one spot short of qualifying for the league tournament.
“We got better at everything this year, with the exception of late-game situations. But we’re awfully young right now… This league eats youth alive.”
LCSC, which had six sophomores and three freshman on its roster, will return 10 of its 11 players next season and has already begun forming a strong recruiting class.
Plagued by a lack of depth due to injuries this season, including the loss of starting point guard Brittaney Niebergall, Orr says he plans to enlarge his roster next year.
“We’re going to extend our roster. We’re not going into another season with just 11 players on the roster.”
One player not on next year’s lineup will be Kane. The 5-foot-5 guard and product of Lapwai, Idaho, finishes her four-year Warrior career with 557 points, including a team-leading 415 this season. She worked tirelessly for the Warriors this year, playing in all 29 games and averaging 34 minutes per contest.