The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

December 14, 2013

Girls basketball: Long dry spell costly for Irish

CLINTON — So much for seven being a lucky number.

It certainly was the number the Prince of Peace girls saw on the scoreboard for far too much time Friday night.

After scoring seven of the game's first nine points, the Irish were stuck on seven for almost 6 1/2 minutes. Springville took advantage, scoring 14 consecutive points on the way to a 41-25 win in the opener of a Tri-Rivers Conference girls-boys basketball doubleheader at Central Catholic Auditorium.

"Unfortunately, we got lots of great shots; they were just not falling," Prince of Peace coach Scott Maddasion said. "It was one of those that we were off as a collective group."

The Irish had trouble attacking Springville's 2-3 zone, and having 6-foot sophomore center Sydney Laufenberg in foul trouble hurt, too.

"It can mess with your heads when the outside shots are not falling and the inside is not working," Maddasion said.

There was some good news for Prince of Peace. Senior Karli Atkinson made her season debut, returning from a knee injury she suffered in May. Her entry into the game off the bench received a nice hand from the home crowd.

"It felt great just to be out there again," said Atkinson, the Irish's second-leading scorer a year ago at 9.3 points a game. "I'm a little (rusty), but I'm getting used to it. I'm getting back in shape."

Playing with a brace on her right knee, Atkinson made her presence felt soon after she came in. She stuck in a 17-foot shot from the left wing to give the Irish a 5-0 lead with 4:31 left in the first quarter.

"Karli is a huge part of the team," said Maddasion, who added that Atkinson wasn't expected to return until early January. "The kid is never going to quit. It's refreshing to have a player like that in there. We're all extremely excited to have her back."

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