GIRARD - There was one thing missing in Jefferson's 44-38 loss to Girard on Thursday evening.
Despite doing an excellent job on defense and crashing the boards, the Falcons (3-4, 0-3 AAC) were never able to get a rhythm going on offense.
"A lot of it was the pressure Girard put on us, they played good defense on us and we rushed shots because of it," Jefferson coach Rod Holmes said.
Jefferson senior Sarah Busch agreed.
"They knocked us off our rhythm," Busch said. "We need to pass it around more, get more reversal passes and get the ball inside."
The Falcons shot a respectable 16 of 49 (32.7 percent) from the field, while Girard (4-3, 2-1 AAC), which was selective with its shots all night, shot 17 of 36 (47.2 percent).
"Coming into the game, we wanted to pressure the ball as much as possible," Girard coach Andy Saxon said. "They are a quick team and we really worked on trying to stop their penetration to the hoop. We were able to get them out of their zone defense and into man-to-man defense, but I thought they did a nice job. Coach (Rod) Holmes does a great job."
Although the Falcons shot 7 of 28 in the first half, their stingy defense and great rebounding kept them in the game.
Girard, on the other hand, shot 45 percent from the field in the first half, thanks in large part to junior Bree Bishop.
"We came out focused tonight and played hard as a team and we have been working hard on helping each other improve," Bishop said.
Bishop was playing in just her second game of the season, after a wrist injury sidelined her for the first five games of the season.
"I'm still trying to get my rhythm back, I'm still trying to play around and not risk re-injuring my wrist," she said.
Bishop made her presence felt throughout the game, especially in the low post, as she grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds and scored nine points.
Saxon said that having her back in the lineup has been huge for the Indians.
"Having her presence in the paint makes everyone around her better, Saxon said. "Since she has been back we are rebounding better and passing the ball better. Having someone like her inside is huge."
Judeh is a freelance writer for the Star Beacon in Ashtabula