GIRLS BASKETBALL: L-P stumbles in second half, loses to PND

La Salle-Peru’s Paige Champlin (No. 23) goes in for a layup during the Lady Cavaliers’ 57-37 loss to Peoria Notre Dame in a non-conference game Tuesday in La Salle.

The La Salle-Peru girls basketball team took a four-point lead into halftime over Peoria Notre Dame and even started the third quarter with a few nice shots to keep the game competitive.

But L-P coach Hollis Vickery said there was one distinct difference with his team in the second half Tuesday.

“They became the aggressors and we became the watchers,” Vickery said. “We stopped executing. We just started to panic. On defense, for some reason, we got out of position and we didn’t cover the corners, we didn’t cover the high post. We just stopped playing and I told the girls during a timeout, ‘We are not playing now. We’re watching.’”

The change led to a loss for the Lady Cavaliers as PND rallied for a 57-37 victory in a non-conference game in La Salle.

L-P held a lead all the way up until the 4:25 mark of the third quarter when PND’s Sam Vallianatos hit a 3-pointer to give the Lady Irish a 26-25 advantage.

Later in the quarter, L-P senior Josie Walter hit a corner 3-pointer to tie the game back up at 29-29.

Things were different after that.

The Lady Irish ended the quarter on an 11-0 run to take a 40-29 lead heading into the final quarter. They hit a couple 3s and were led by forward Lexi Snyder, who led all scorers with 24 points.

Vickery said his team’s fundamentals broke down as the game went on.

“Get a hand up. Just get a hand up,” Vickery said. “We didn’t get our hands up. We played very weak defensively as far as getting hands up, closing out and getting out of position. The first half we stayed in position, but the biggest thing was we did not meet their aggression.”

PND outscored the Lady Cavs 17-8 in the fourth quarter to end the game.

Lauren Phillips led L-P with nine points as no player was able to get into double-figure scoring.

“We came out pretty good,” Vickery said. “The press bothered us somewhat but in the long run they were getting wide open shots, and they were hitting them. They’re a very good shooting team. We knew that from playing them last year. They are just relentless shooters. They get good open shots and they hit them, and they’re patient.

“We didn’t get out on them and we didn’t hit a few shots here and there. We didn’t come and meet the pass. That was a big thing, too. We just waited for it to come to us instead of going and getting it.”

Beau Troutman can be reached at 220-6938, or at sports@newstrib.com . Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsBeau.

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