GLEN DALE - Even though it was the second time in 10 days the University girls defeated John Marshall, the Monarchs faithful saw a much better effort from their team on Senior Night.
Well you can chalk that up to some better weather.
John Marshall’s Kylie Howard (24) looks to shoot over the blocking hand of University’s Megan Messiora (20).
''We played them in the OVAC semifinal and got beat pretty soundly,'' JM coach Mark McCormick said referring to the 71-45 setback on Feb. 5. ''At the same time, due to our county policy, we were not allowed to practice during snow days. We went from playing (Jan. 31) and then didn't practice till the day of the game. It was what it was.''
Even with the 81-63 loss on Thursday night, McCormick was impressed with how his team played from the first meeting to the second.
''Our girls played hard,'' he said. ''I knew we had to stop them in transition and we did a good job of that. I thought we rebounded well. (University) just shot really well from the floor.''
With senior Kylie Howard back in the lineup after she missed nine games with a PCL tear, the Monarchs (11-9) trailed by one, 23-22, in the beginning of the second quarter, but that's when the Hawks (12-4) went on a 9-0 run to extend their lead to 31-22.
University was able to kept its nine-point advantage throughout the quarter as the teams went into halftime with the scoreboard reading 49-40.
''The first half, there were some times we put up some shots that we weren't accustomed to,'' McCormick said. ''I thought we settled for some outside shots, but when our offense was patience enough, we got the ball inside. We worked and attacked them and it was successful.''
The Monarchs came out of the locker room with momentum and trimmed the lead to four at 50-46, but that is when JM went ice cold from the free-throw line.
''What really was the telling sign was our stretch from the foul line in the third quarter,'' McCormick said. ''We didn't shoot well from the foul line.''
The Monarchs finished 1 of 6 from the charity stripe during the quarter and finished the game 10 of 23.
''I don't think we hit a foul shot the whole second half,'' McCormick pointed out. ''That's just not going to win ball games.''
The troubles from the foul line continued into the final quarter as the Hawks outscored the Monarchs 20-9.
''On the bright side of things, I think we matched up pretty well against them,'' McCormick added. ''We just have to work on the small things.''
JM will have five days to work on 'the small things' as the two teams will face off again on Tuesday. It will be the fourth time the two teams have met this season.
''We beat them once down at their place, then they beat us twice,'' McCormick said. ''Now it's going to come down to where it matters.''
Howard led JM with 21 points in her first full start since the injury, while Emily Winters chipped in 10.