“I just think we got ahead of ourselves. I think our egos got the best of us,” Vikings coach Ashley Rison said. “We just thought this was a game that we had and it’s going to be easy because we’re tied at halftime. We did the same exact thing against them the last time.”
Lockland is one of the few opponents New Miami has been able to compete with this season. The Panthers led their first meeting 14-11 at halftime before grabbing a 47-24 victory on Dec. 13.
The Vikings fell to 0-17 overall and 0-16 in the MVC heading into the Division IV postseason. As luck would have it, 11th-seeded New Miami will face No. 1 Legacy Christian at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Monroe.
“We need to play all four quarters like we did in the first half of this game,” Rison said. “I still think our defense is pretty good. If we can’t get a win out of it, we’ll try to be one of the best defensive teams that’s played against them.”
“We’re going to go and play our hardest and see what happens. Hopefully they have an off day,” added Samantha Jones, the Vikings’ lone senior. “It’s still a fun season. We’re still positive. We have a lot of heart.”
New Miami committed 30 turnovers, sank 16 of 37 foul shots and had four free-throw attempts negated by lane violations Wednesday. The hosts didn’t have a field goal in the second half.
“I think we did get cocky in the locker room at halftime,” Jones said. “We came out and just fell apart. We got tired and let it slip through us.”
Goins, a 5-foot-8 guard, missed nearly five minutes of the second stanza with three fouls and had no points in that quarter, then opened the third period with a personal 8-point run.
New Miami’s Arielle Scalf (12) applies pressure to Lockland’s Tia Costanzo (22) during Wednesday night’s game at New Miami. RICK CASSANO/STAFF
“I wasn’t worried about her being in foul trouble. I was worried that we weren’t playing our game,” Lockland coach Charles Bowling said. “None of my girls were playing their game. When you’re a smaller team like we are, you’ve got to push it, push it, push it. We were playing lazy defense and even lazier offense. When you play lazy defense, it’s never going to work.”
He said he was stern at halftime, but didn’t resort to yelling.
“I’ve noticed that girls tend to shut down when you light them up like that,” Bowling said. “I let them come to the realization themselves that it’s not the ball we play. They got a little more hustle, a little more fire under them in the second half.
“When we play our basketball, we stand a chance with a lot of teams. Young teams are just hard to motivate to play 110 percent from the first second to the last second. That’s probably the hardest part of coaching up a young team.”
Lockland’s Erin Goins (2) is about to go to the foul line after getting fouled in the lane during Wednesday night’s game at New Miami. Teammate Sidney Vance (21) offers to help her up as the Vikings’ Brooklyn Adkins (1) trails the play. RICK CASSANO/STAFF
Heather Gehring and Goins are the Panthers’ two seniors. Gehring tossed in a career-high 15 points, while freshman Tia Costanzo contributed 6 points and 14 boards.
The Vikings got 9 points from Arielle Scalf and 6 from Brooklyn Adkins. Kristyn Riley collected 10 rebounds, Scalf hauled in eight, Abby Kollasch had seven, and Adkins, Jones, Alissa Stamper and Sierra Cavin added six apiece.
Jones said Senior Night was an emotional experience for her. She admitted she didn’t expect to be heading into the tournament with zero victories, “but we did lose five seniors last year. It’s hard coming into the season with a lot of new players and new coaches.”
Rison said the Vikings should take a step forward next season with nearly everybody returning.
New Miami’s Kristyn Riley (11) goes up with the ball in a crowd during Wednesday night’s game against Lockland at New Miami. RICK CASSANO/STAFF
“We’ve just got to keep building it up,” Rison said. “We may not have a win this year, but I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls. They put heart and effort into every single game. You can’t teach that.”
Lockland is also in the Monroe sectional. The Panthers are seeded 10th and will meet either No. 9 Middletown Christian or No. 2 Cedarville at 6 p.m. on Feb. 22.
New Miami 13-7-2-3—25
LOCKLAND (3-19, 2-14 MVC Gray): Erin Goins 6 9 21, Heather Gehring 5 5 15, Tia Costanzo 3 0 6, Alexis Ferrell 1 0 2, Aniayah Roundtree 0 3 3, Jaiden Mason 1 0 2. Totals: 16-17-49
NEW MIAMI (0-17, 0-16 MVC Gray): Brooklyn Adkins 1 4 6, Arielle Scalf 1 6 9, Samantha Jones 0 3 3, Abby Kollasch 2 1 5, Sierra Cavin 0 1 1, Alissa Stamper 0 1 1. Totals: 4-16-25
3-pointers: N 1 (Scalf)
New Miami’s Brooklyn Adkins (1) keeps an eye on Lockland’s Tia Costanzo (22) during Wednesday night’s game at New Miami. RICK CASSANO/STAFF