Rossville did a good job defending West Lafayette’s standout senior Alaina Omonode and competed for a half, but a couple late buckets before the break and an offensive drought in the third quarter allowed the visiting Red Devils to pull away for a 49-24 win in girls basketball on Monday evening.
“Different night, same story,” Rossville head coach Chad Geheb said. “We came in at halftime and we had four turnovers and we were only being outrebounded by five and they obviously have a prolific rebounder inside with Omonode.
“From that standpoint, I really liked where we were at, but offensively we just had opportunities (we didn’t convert). Tough, competitive teams like West Side and Clinton Prairie, they force you to take quick shots that maybe you’re not used to shooting as quickly and that disrupts you.”
Omonode came into the game averaging 19.9 points and 14.6 rebounds this season for the 8-1 Red Devils. Rossville packed in the defense and held her to six points in the first half (12 for the game) as they trailed just 26-16 at halftime.
The score at the break could have been even closer if not for a steal and bucket the other way by Kennedy Martin with 35 seconds left and an Omonode score off an offensive rebound with five seconds left.
Rossville struggled finding any offense in the third quarter, getting only a Madison Miller jumper after she made a steal with 2:27 left in the quarter as West Lafayette gained a comfortable cushion leading 37-16 going into the final quarter.
“(Scoring) is a part of our game that we knew we would have to continue to work on and in games like this it shows its ugly head so to speak,” Geheb said. “We’ve got to continue working on that part of our game, but I loved our effort.
“I loved the execution on the defensive end with Omonode. I thought we did a really good job of making it difficult for her to get the basketball and forcing the role players to make shots and unfortunately they did just that.”
Eight Red Devils scored with Kylie Reif’s 10 and Christina Shi’s eight following Omonode.
“That third quarter was difficult with them coming out 11-2 and that put the game at a pretty good distance,” Geheb said. “I don’t think it was indicative of the overall effort. We’re going to be determined to keep working on (our offense) at practice and hopefully we’ll see some results here before Christmas.”
Miller and Michelle Rodkey led the Hornets with five points each with Sammie Malson, Alyssa Redding and Jayla Rosen each adding four and Emma Lawson two.
Malson was a bright spot pulling down 12 rebounds with two steals, a block and a steal.
“She played her tail off,” Geheb said. “She really exerted a lot of energy and did a great job on the help side and a great job on the boards as well. …
“She had six offensive rebounds too. You always know how hard a kid is playing by looking at the offensive rebounds. You know that if they are getting a lot of offensive rebounds they are exerting a lot of energy and a lot of effort.”
Other stat contributions came from Miller (seven rebounds, three steals and an assist), Rosen (two steals and an assist), Redding (two rebounds and two steals), Rodkey (three steals and an assist), Lawson (a rebound and an assist) and Kennedy Houser (a rebound).
Omonode and freshman Annie Karlaftis made it more difficult for Rodkey to find her usual shots inside, limiting her to 2-9 from the field.
“Obviously, Michelle knows that she’s going against a strong and tall young lady (in Omonode),” Geheb said. “She had her work cut out for her. I thought she competed well. We want to keep feeding Michelle. We want to get the ball inside, not necessarily for scores but to get the offense going inside and see what the guards do. …
“You’re right, getting the ball inside to Michelle was sort of a task and … (Omonode) obviously disrupted her on that end of the floor, but defensively I thought Michelle did an outstanding job.”
Rossville (3-4) next hosts North White at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
RED DEVILS 49, HORNETS 24
West Lafayette – Totals 21 3-7 49.
Rossville – Rodkey 2 1-2 5, Miller 2 1-2 5, Rosen 2 0-0 4, Malson 1 2-2 4, Redding 2 0-0 4, Lawson 1 0-0 2. Totals 10 4-6 24.
3-point goals: West Lafayette (4), Rossville (none). Total Fouls – West Lafayette 11, Rossville 8.