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Lady Hornets build confidence

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Fair Play coach Alicia Mercer talks with her team during a time out Monday, Jan. 20.

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Fair Play’s Jenna Viles looks for an open passing lane while under pressure from Pleasant Hope’s Lindsey Gettle during the Lady Hornets’ loss Monday, Jan. 20.

In their first game of the season Monday, Nov. 25, coach Alicia Mercer’s Fair Play Lady Hornets dropped a heartbreaking 30-point contest against New Covenant Academy.

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Fair Play senior Emily McDougal takes a shot against the home team Monday, Jan. 20.

The second time the two teams faced off, nearly a month later on Thursday, Dec. 19, the Lady Hornets trimmed their ending deficit to 54-37. 

A win it wasn’t, but Mercer said the 2-10 young team will proudly put recognition toward its improvements, no matter how they come.

“They have potential,” she said. “They just don’t have the confidence yet to recognize it and believe in it and go execute.”

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Fair Play junior Chyler Welch drives toward the basket.

The Lady Hornets put that potential on display again Monday, Jan. 20, keeping up for two quarters with Pleasant Hope before eventually falling 52-38 after surrendering a 21-9 run in the third quarter. The game had entered halftime with Pleasant Hope up just 22-20.

“I was proud of the first half,” Mercer said. “We want to play all four quarters with the intensity that we showed there in spurts.”

Looking in the long run, Mercer said she’s asked her players to write down traits they’d change, after watching game film, then focus on making those changes before the Lady Hornets face Climax Springs in a 5:30 p.m. home game Friday, Jan. 24. 

“There were some things that we had to make adjustments on,” Mercer said. “We have to box out. We have to offensively realize that we can go get the ball. A lot of our points in the first half came from rebound putbacks. That third quarter showed our confidence issues. I believe we can grow out of them.”

Fair Play’s Emily McDouglal found herself front and center as the Pleasant Hope defense worked to box out upperclassmen playmakers Chyler Welch and Lexie Simpson. McDougal ended the game with a team-leading 11 points.

That was part of the plan, Lady Pirates coach Brent Offerdahl said.

“We knew we had to come at those two,” Offerdahl said of Welch and Simpson. “We’re still a young team, but we’re making strides and I’m happy to have a win here.”

Fair Play next faces Wheatland at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, in Fair Pleay. The two teams have a tied 12-12 record.

Pleasant Hope will look to build on its momentum with a road game at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Lockwood.  

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