In a physical game which saw numerous hard fouls, technicals, jaw-jacking and fist flying, the host Eminence Lady Warriors lost their season opener against Berea High School last Tuesday night, 61-29.
Berea jumped out to an early advantage and stretched it to 32 points by the time the four quarters came to an end. One Berea player, who was ejected for punching Dani Wells during the second half, left the court in a fury and is questionable on her return. Meanwhile, Wells walked off the court with a dislocated jaw and a slight concussion, Eminence coach Carter Martin said.
"I think we played them a lot closer last year, and it seemed like some of the Berea girls had something to prove," Martin said. "I'm not the normal person to criticize officials because I know they have a tough job, but I felt like they let it get out of hand. As officials, they have to call it on both ends of the court, and I didn't feel like they did. Now, as a team, we just have to move on."
Even when the game was out-of-reach for Eminence and the Berea player was already ejected, the Warriors kept playing physically until the end.
"Just because we are a small school, does not mean we're going to be bullied," Martin added. "We aren't going to back down from anyone - not this team."
The Lady Warriors, coming off of a one-win season, finished with just 26 points, but had 18 from freshman Rachel Raisor. The point guard made a few runs for the Lady Warriors, including a pair of three pointers, but it did little to slow down the charging Berea squad, who was 17-14 last season and defeated Eminence twice.
Martin said he was pleased with the play he saw from Raisor, along with eighth grader Rachel Metcalfe.
"Raisor played her heart out, and played one heck of a game," he said. "And I thought Metcalfe played well inside for us. I'm beginning to see some things from her that shows she can become a good player."
With the overly-rough contest, Eminence's game scheduled at Berea on Jan. 4 has already been cancelled, and the teams might not play next season either.
Western Hills 69, Eminence 13: The Eminence girls" basketball team didn't come ready to play at Western Hills Saturday afternoon, and it showed on the court as Western Hills defeated the visiting Lady Warriors, 69-13.
In Carter Martin's two seasons as Eminence's head coach, the 13 points were the fewest his team had scored except for the 70-12 loss to Western High School last January.
"I felt like we just weren't ready to play, and I take blame for that," Martin explained. "We have to come out more pumped up and ready to go."
Just three minutes into the game, Eminence had missed five shots and Western Hills had already built an 8-0 lead. For the rest of the game, the Lady Warriors either passed up open looks or missed baskets.
"We have to learn not to be scared to shoot the ball, and to have confidence when we do shoot," Martin said. "We did get a lot of shots up, but they weren't falling."
Meanwhile, Western Hills hit more three-point shots than any previous opponent in Martin's tenure as the head coach, he said.
"They were just on - they were hitting everything. There's not much you can do when everything they throw up goes in. I didn't think we played that bad on defense."
After Eminence's first two losses, including the loss to Berea in the season opener last Tuesday, the Lady Warriors will play at Silver Grove this Saturday.
"We will chalk up the first two games as a learning experience, and take what we can get out of them," Martin said of the 0-2 start. "There are things we can work on, and I think we have some very good young players to really improve."
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