MINSTER – Facing another tough opponent, the Mississinawa Valley girls basketball team suffered a 58-31 loss Tuesday night, but coach Todd Murphy is seeing a lot of improvement in his team.
The Lady Hawks lost a road game against Minster to drop to 0-3 on the season with the team’s other losses coming to St. Henry and Russia. In their third game of the season, Murphy said he’s seeing growth and more confidence in the Lady Hawks as they adjust to their new system.
“We were a lot more aggressive offensively tonight,” the first-year head coach said. “We’re getting a little more consistently off the bench. Defensively we were solid. We’ve got some work to do.”
Minster never trailed in the game, jumping out to an 18-4 lead in the first quarter. Mississinawa Valley was limited to a pair of free throws by Maddie Murphy and a field goal from Kelsey Lumpkin in the opening period.
Minster, a physical squad that used a lot of defensive pressure, again slowed down Mississinawa Valley in the second quarter, limiting the Lady Hawks to four points again. This time Nicole Scholl and Mackenzie Dirmeyer scored field goals for Mississinawa Valley as Minster increased its lead to 30-8 at halftime.
Mississinawa Valley had been struggling with its offensive, coach Murphy said, but things started to pick up in the second half.
Mississinawa Valley scored 13 points in the third quarter with Hope Neargarder, Dirmeyer, Scholl, Murphy and Kelsi Amspaugh all contributing to the scoring as the period ended with Minster leading 44-21.
The Lady Hawks then scored 10 points in the fourth quarter with Murphy, Neargarder and Scholl leading the charge offensively to finish the game with the 58-31 final score.
Maddie Murphy led Mississinawa Valley with nine points on the night. Also for the Lady Hawks, Neargarder scored eight, Scholl scored six, Dirmeyer scored four, and Amspaugh and Lumpkin both scored two.
“We’re cutting better. We’re getting more confidence in our offense,” coach Murphy said. “It’s a whole new offensive scheme. It’s taking a little bit of time to figure out what their strengths and what their weaknesses are.”
Coach Murphy said he hopes the tough challenges against non-conference opponents will help prepare the Lady Hawks for Cross County Conference play. Mississinawa Valley plays its first game against a league opponent tonight as it travels to Ansonia.