Rangers drop loss to Washington

Photo by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Forest Park junior Ali Welp (11) watches her shot go Thursday at Washington, with fellow junior Jesse Ledgerwood (5) of Washington defending. Welp had nine points in her team's 62-37 loss to the Hatchets. 

By COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

WASHINGTON - Just about anything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong for Forest Park Thursday at Washington.

Rebounding proved to be a big strength for the Rangers (8-3, 4-3) on Tuesday against Boonville, but it was another story Thursday inside the Hatchet House. Giving up offensive rebounds and turning over the ball in the midst of Washington's pressure contributed to Forest Park's loss, 62-37.

"We've been doing a lot of rebounding drills in practice," Forest Park coach Tony Hasenour said. "We thought we were getting better in that area, but tonight was a big step back. So, the girls know that we're going to be working on that again in practice. Tonight, I think it was just the case of Washington getting better position on us and just wanting the ball more."

The Hatchets turned their offensive boards and their takeaways into points that distinguished themselves from the Rangers. Hasenour said they need to get tougher with the basketball, as they do practice drills on how to hold it, and also how attack when the other team is playing aggressive defense. He added Forest Park will have to go back to that after this game.

He took his first timeout when the Rangers, trailed, 4-0, as the Hatchets already began getting second chances and forcing turnovers on Forest Park, but the woes were just beginning for the Rangers.

Sophomore Amber Tretter had to sit out much of the first quarter due picking up a couple of fouls in the opening minutes of the game, and she was replaced by senior Linda Jacob. Tretter later returned with less than two minutes to play in the first, however, because Jacob herself ran into foul trouble - fouling four times before halftime, and fouling out in the third quarter.

"Washington's a super-aggressive defensive team and super-aggressive offensive team," he said. "If you just blink for half-a-second, they're getting the rebound, they're taking it back up strong and if you're out of position, which we were plenty of times, that's going to get you in trouble. And that's kind of what happened to Linda and Amber tonight - they got in foul trouble just being out of position, or being just a little bit late to the ball."

The Rangers trailed, 14-7, after one, but things only got worse in the second quarter when the Hatchets scored 24 second-half points, and Washington put on the exclamation to end the third quarter when senior Jade Browning, who had a game-high 19 points, put up a long range shot that went in before the buzzer.

Another distinction from Forest Park's win Tuesday against the Pioneers was that almost all of Boonville's 42 points came from the 32 that junior Alaysha Brandenberger had. However, the Hatchets proved to be balanced, as juniors Alaina Thorne and Kencia Levasseur tallied 18 and 16 points, respectively, to complement Browning.

The fifth-year Rangers coach has always felt balanced scoring is the hardest to defend, and Thursday exemplified that.

"They got a lot of talent over there on the other side of the bench, and it was on full display," Hasenour said.

Forest Park will have some time to get ready be back at it at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning in the Bedford North Lawrence Tournament. Linton-Stockton and Heritage Christian will also take part in this single day event, and Hasenour knows Forest Park will have its hands full. He knows that win or lose, seeing that kind of competition will only help the team get better in the long run.

The Rangers will get a look at Bedford's Chloe Spreen, the team's highly touted freshman.

"Chloe Spreen's a special player, but they're balanced," he said. "They got all five girls on the floor at any one time (who) can score, and they're going to be aggressive defensively, too. So, we've got our work cut out for us here. We've got to make sure that we're getting better over the next three days because we're going to have our hands full on Tuesday against a team like BNL."




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