WEST LEBANON, Ind. — When a scouting report says a team has troubles with a zone defense, you can almost guarantee that every opponent is going to play zone against them.
That was the case on Thursday night when the ninth-rated Clinton Prairie Lady Gophers used a 3-2 zone to frustrate and stymie the Seeger Lady Patriots on their way to a 38-30 victory in a non-conference contest.
“That team (Clinton Prairie) probably hasn’t played zone all year and there is a reason why they were doing it tonight,’’ said Seeger coach Brent Rademacher. “We don’t have enough outside shooters.
“Teams don’t want to see our back cuts and layups — the things that we do in our man-to-man offense. So, if we can’t do a better job against zone defenses, we are going to keep seeing them. We have to get better in that area.’’
Seeger, who fell to 10-2 with the loss, actually handled the Clinton Prairie zone for the game’s first 12 minutes. The Lady Patriots had a 15-10 lead with sophomore Aubry Cole scoring 9 of her team-high 11 points.
But over the game’s final 20 minutes, Seeger made just 4-of-21 shots (19 percent) and the Lady Patriots committed 10 turnovers as the Lady Gophers finished the game on a 28-15 run.
“Too many turnovers and too many bad shots,’’ Rademacher said. “Basically, we were being impatient and that’s what it came down to.
“We have to clean some things up, get better and do a better job of taking care of the basketball.’’
While the loss is frustrating for the Patriots, Rademacher sees it as an opportunity.
“Clinton Prairie is a good team. They are ranked in the state,’’ he said. “We are not that far behind them.
“But, we need get mentally tougher and physically tougher.’’
The Lady Gophers, who improved to 12-1 with the victory, took control of the contest with a 10-1 run to end the first half with a 20-16 lead.
Clinton Prairie also won the battle of the boards, outrebounding Seeger 30-25, including 12 offensive rebounds that led directly to 11 points for the Lady Gophers.
Claire Ecenbarger came off the bench to score a game-high 13 points for Clinton Prairie. Ecenbarger and Kylie Malish, who had 7 points, shared team-high honors with six rebounds each.
For Seeger, Cole had a team-high 11 points but she had just 2 in the final 20 minutes.
“We need to get someone to help her,’’ Rademacher said.
Macey Kerr came off the bench to score 6 points and pull down six rebounds for the Lady Patriots.
Up next for Seeger is a non-conference road game at Tri-County on Tuesday.