COMANCHE — The score was identical to their season opener, but the Brownwood Lady Lions put forth a much better effort in their 55-43 loss to the Comanche Maidens Saturday night.
The Lady Lions (0-2) showed flashes of the type of defense first-year head coach Heather Hohertz wants to see, but foul trouble and shooting woes kept Brownwood from notching its first win.
“As a whole we played tons better than we did on Tuesday,” Hohertz said. “We showed how great we can be on defense. With the exception of a couple of times on rotation, I thought our defense pretty much shut them down. But we fouled a lot and put them on the line, and that’s where they got most of their points.”
In a game that featured 54 fouls — 31 of which were committed by the Lady Lions — and 76 free throw attempts, Comanche was 31-of-46 from the charity stripe, while Brownwood sank just 5-of-20 free throws.
“They stepped to the line and made their free throws and we didn’t,” Hohertz said. “We missed 15 free throws and made 13 field goals the whole game.”
Trinity Ansons and Tiara Brown led the Lady Lions with 12 points each, followed by eight from Hannah Mask, five from Sara Byrd, four from Patricia Wilson and two points from Amanda Gober.
“Trinity stepped up and played really well tonight,” Hohertz said. “She put it on herself to make some plays, and she defended well in the middle. I thought she grew up a lot tonight, but the rest of the girls have to come along. I know we’re young and we have a lot of sophomores, but they have to come along fast.”
Comanche was led by Brooke Stewart’s 16 points, while Ashley Roberts and Lacey Drewes both finished in double figures with 10 apiece.
At times in the second half, the Maidens — who led 21-17 at halftime — appeared on the verge of running away with the victory. Each Comanche rally, however, was answered by one from the Lady Lions.
Trailing 28-19 with 3:53 left in the third period, Brownwood trimmed the deficit to 33-29 nine seconds into the fourth quarter as Ansons converted three field goals, Wilson sank a short jumper and Brown contributed a basket.
Four free throws and a three-pointer by Drewes, along with a free throw from Maegan Caffey, allowed Comanche to stretch its lead to 41-31 with 5:47 remaining.
The Lady Lions answered with six straight points to narrow the gap to 41-37 with 4:41 left. Mask triggered the rally with a three-pointer, then Ansons converted a traditional three-point play.
Following a quick Comanche scoring spurt, Mask’s second three-pointer allowed Brownwood to reduce the deficit to 45-40. But the Lady Lions managed just one more bucket from Mask and a Byrd free throw down the stretch, while the Maidens converted 8-of-11 free throws over the final two minutes.
“During our time outs we talked about how we needed to suck it up and give everything we had left to come back and try and win it,” Hohertz said. “I could see in their eyes that they wanted to come back and fight until the end and they did. We just ran out of gas and kept fouling.”
The Lady Lions will attempt to tally their first win in Tuesday’s 6:30 p.m. home opener against Clyde.