Lady Jaguars fall in finale
But team remains pumped up about chances at sub-state
Just forget about it might be the new motto for the Mill Valley girls 9-11 regular season.
"We're 0-0," coach Diana Krull said. "Postseason brings a new season."
The Jaguars were ready to forget how the first season ended minutes after their 61-43 loss on senior night to Tonganoxie.
It was a disappointing end to what was once a promising season for the Jaguars.
They opened the year 6-3 and just a month ago gave the Chieftains a scare when the Jags lost by just six points. The Jaguars even had a somewhat promising start on senior night.
Despite starting the game 1-of-10 from the field in the first quarter, Mill Valley only trailed 7-4 thanks to the one shot that did fall for the Jags, a Carly Santaularia three-pointer.
Mill Valley even had a lead in the second quarter, 11-10, when Santaularia scored on a putback of a Brittany Gardner miss.
But Tonganoxie responded by finishing the half on a 16-2 run and Mill Valley would never get any closer.
"We just didn't play very well," senior Elise Umbarger said. "We didn't move on offense and I don't know what was wrong with our defense."
Krull said the Jags were able to stay with the Chieftains in their last meeting because the Jaguars played four physical quarters. She said her team quit playing physical after the first quarter Friday night.
"They were all kind of looking at each other waiting for somebody to step up and take over the game," Krull said.
Santaularia finally started driving to the basket with success in the fourth quarter, which enabled her team to play to a 13-13 tie in the final quarter -- not that it much mattered.
For three quarters, the Jaguars had stood around, passed the ball around the perimeter and didn't appear like they wanted any part of the Chieftains in the paint.
"Tonganoxie may just make you look like you're playing timid," Krull said. "That's just how good they are. They're physical. They're big bodies. They handle the ball well. They move without the ball well. They post well. They rebound well."
They're also a 4A team. That has to be the best news for Mill Valley. The Jaguars don't have to play the Chieftains again until next season -- the 2007-2008 season that is -- not this next one coming up.
In the new season, Mill Valley opens against a familiar foe: Lansing. The Jaguars have beaten the Lions twice this season, 42-40 at Mill Valley and 51-46 almost two weeks ago at Lansing.
The two teams open sub-state Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Mill Valley.
If the Lady Jaguars can defeat Lansing for a third time this season, it would likely set up a rematch against Gardner-Edgerton. Gardner-Edgerton beat Mill Valley 44-41 last Tuesday on a three-pointer at the buzzer.
Gardner-Edgerton is the No. 1 seed in the sub-state and Mill Valley is the No. 4 seed, but it's a new season -- one the Lady Jags are planning on playing to remember.
"I think next week, since we start out 0-and-0, everyone at sub state better get ready," senior Sta' Nisha Garlington said. "Because we're bringing it."