BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MIRROR SPORTS — Playing their third game in five days last week, Maumee girls basketball coach Rafael Soler felt the grind started to wear on his girls by the time Saturday rolled around.
The Panthers started the week with a long road trip to Defiance on Tuesday, followed that with a road game at defending Northern Lakes League champion Anthony Wayne on Thursday and topped it off with a home game against Evergreen.
The results were three more losses for Maumee, dropping the team to 0-9 overall and 0-6 in the conference. They’ve lost 12 straight games, dating back to last season’s win at Scott.
“You could kind of tell from the start, we weren’t very focused,” Soler said after they lost 62-40 to Evergreen. “This was our third game in five days – I think it started to wear on them a little bit.”
It was a big night for the Panthers off the court on Saturday as well; the program was involved in a fundraiser for freshman teammate Izzy Yancy, who was diagnosed with leukemia on November 30.
Maumee got 13 points from Lucy Porter, who added five rebounds. Haley Hughes had a season-high 13 points along with nine rebounds and two assists.
Soler thought his squad made strides offensively against the Vikings, but it continued to struggle on the other end of the court.
“It started to come together – we started to do some things we were doing in practice,” Soler said. “We’ve got a lot of work defensively. This team can be pretty good defensively once we put it all together. It just wasn’t there tonight.”
The Panthers committed 30 turnovers against Evergreen. On the week, Maumee had 73 giveaways in the three games.
“It was more mental mistakes; it wasn’t effort tonight, for sure,” Soler said after facing the Vikings. “That’s easier to fix. When someone is going to give their all, we can fix the mental things. That’s my job as a coach. It’s harder to get somebody to work really hard.”
Porter had 14 points, eight rebounds and three steals in a 48-40 loss to Defiance. Hannah Binkowski added nine points and seven boards and Evelynn Schneider had seven points and eight rebounds.
The Panthers struggled against the Generals, losing 66-13 while not scoring a point after halftime. Porter and Charley Bischoff each had four points for Maumee.
After facing Evergreen, Maumee had nine days until its next game on Tuesday, December 27, when Scott travels to Maumee. In fact, that game against the Bulldogs is the only one during a two-week timeframe.
“This is going to be a huge stretch for our program as a whole, all the way from freshmen to our seniors,” Soler said. “This is where we really get to focus on us.”