Sometimes it just isn’t your night. That seemed to be the case for the Lady Hawks in Wednesday’s 46-25 loss at West Johnston.
Triton shot an abysmal 9-of-42 (21.4 percent) from the field and 6-of-15 (40 percent) from the free throw line, and committed 22 turnovers in the nightmarish loss.
“Our offense just hasn’t been there the last couple of games,” said Triton girls coach Wendy Simmons. “And the thing is, we watched film after the loss to Lee County (on Friday) and had a really good practice yesterday. And then tonight we just didn’t have it. I felt like we were trying to force it inside at times and rushing some shots at others. We need to get back to running our offense and getting good shots, because I know they’re capable.”
Before the winter break, the Hawks had just gotten above .500 with a 4-3 record and were averaging 39.3 points per game. But now they’ve lost four of their last, failing to score 40 points in three of those losses. They were averaging 4.6 3-pointers made per game in the first seven games, but have made two or less in all four losses and only made three in the win over Cleveland.
“I think it’s just a lack of focus rather than a lack of confidence,” Simmons said. “We’ve just got to get back to the basics, keep things simple instead of trying to force it. When we execute our offense we’re a good team.”
There weren’t a lot of bright spots for Triton, but one of the few was the play of sophomore Tristan Ennis, who scored a team-high 9 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Ennis sat out most of the early part of the season after suffering an injury in the Harnett County Tipoff and has played sparingly in the last few games, but she was one of the few consistent performers for the Hawks in Wednesday’s loss.
“Tristan hasn’t been able to play a lot of minutes, but she did a really good job tonight,” Simmons said. “I thought she played aggressive and gave us a boost inside. We don’t have a lot of depth in the post, so getting her back to playing well is big for us going forward.”
Abby Hood added 6 points and 11 rebounds. Kaila Cooney had 3 points, making the Hawks’ lone 3-pointer on the night. Anastasia McDonald, Zoie Starling and Brittany Ireland each added 2 points, and Gracie Byrd chipped in 1 point.
Triton couldn’t have started much slower, falling behind 10-1 at the end of the first quarter. The Hawks finally got going offensively in the second quarter with 10 points, but gave up 18 to trail 28-11 at the half.
The Wildcats outscored Triton 8-6 in the third quarter and 10-8 in the fourth to seal the 21-point victory.
“As much as we struggled tonight offensively, I was just as disappointed in our defensive effort,” Simmons said. “We’ve got to get back to playing good, solid defense for conference play.”
Triton (5-7, 0-1) will look to end its recent skid with a trip to face a struggling Southern Lee (2-12, 1-0) on Friday.