GENOA — When the Marian Central girls basketball team defeated Woodstock North for the Woodstock Regional title last week, the team had accomplished its main goal at the beginning of the season — win the regional tournament.
Even without the regional title it had been the best Hurricane team that head coach Jackie Budmayr had oversaw. That season has come to an end.
The Hurricanes fell to the Rockets, 54-29, in the Class 3A Genoa-Kingston Sectional.
"We weren't knocking down shots at all," Hurricanes coach Jackie Budmayr said of her team's 10 for 41 night from the floor.
"We hung with them though. We went into the fourth quarter only down by seven and then I think we ran out of gas. The score doesn't show an accurate depiction of our effort and the way we battled as a team."
The Hurricanes showed their grit early after starting the game in a 5-0 hole, and battled back to tie the game at 12 by quarter's end but the Rockets derailed the Hurricanes in the second quarter with a big lineup that Marian Central couldn't matchup with.
"We were never able to settle in," M-C's Shannon Wuensch said. She scored a team-high 15 points. "It's tough because they brought it tonight and I wish we could have played a better game. We got a little rattled."
Rockets coach Mark Smith wanted to see if putting 6-foot Rebecca Gerke and fellow 6-footer Alison Colby on the floor with 5-foot-10 Samantha Pryor would generate enough offense against a pesky Hurricane defense that only features one player at 6-foot.
The trio combined for 11 of the team's 14 second-quarter points and the Rockets headed to halftime with a 26-19 lead.
"They are very physical inside," Budmayr said. "We played them in the Chirstmas tournament and we noticed their size right away and they have a point-guard who can distribute to their players inside-and-out."
"They used their post players much better than the last time we saw them and they hit shots especially underneath."
The Hurricanes answer to the Rockets inside barrage was Hannah Davis, though she could only do so much. The junior came off the bench and played a solid game while being tasked with guarding Colby and Gerke. Davis held the two to a combined four points in the final quarter while she added eight points off the bench.
"She's a threat inside," Budmayr said of the Davis. "We'll work with her over the summer and she will be even bigger and better down there. As a team we will be better as well. I think making it this far had them rattled because of the lack of experience in playing at this level but next year we will have that under our belt."