LADY BLUE DEVILS FALL TO JOHNSON COUNTY IN FINAL REGUALR SEASON GAME
Some might look at it as a negative, but if you ask head coach Valerie Stambersky Wednesday's loss is a blessing in disguise. "No one ever likes to lose especially your final game of the season and to Johnson County. But if we had to lose another game this season, this was the one to lose. It will help us refocus as we make a run in tournament play." The lady Blue Devils ended the regular season with a record of 27-3 and ranked #4 in the national polls.
"We got off to a rocky start and never really felt like we were in a rhythm offensively. Brook Vaughn came off the bench for Johnson and hit 3 3's to give them an offensive spark. We never really settled in until the second half," said Stambersky.
The Blue Devils came out in the second half and played 20 minutes with as much focus and drive as ever. The 27 point deficit was a little too much to overcome though. Trailing 43-16 at half, the Blue Devils came out on fire putting up a quick 15 points in less than about 4 minutes to cause Johnson to take two quick timeouts. The Blue Devils outscored the Cavaliers 36-21 in the second half of the game. "We were in striking distance down 10, we had a great look at a 3 that was in and out and then we missed on the front end of 3 1 and 1's in the final 3 minutes of the game. Those shots fall and it is a different story. However, if we just need to play 40 minutes of basketball," said Stambersky.
The Blue Devils were led by Cierra Gaines who had 15 points and 7 boards. Cheyenne North also has 8 points and 7 boards. "We didn't play like we can and because of that we lost. We will learn from it, fix some things and prepare for post season play. We had a great regular season, but this is only the beginning for this group," said coach Stambersky.
The Blue Devils have a first round bye and will play on Tuesday at home at 5:00 against the winner of the Highland and Hesston game. The winner of that game will play on Saturday, March 7th at 1:00 at Wichita State University.