OLNEY, Ill. – Even after their fourth-highest offensive output of the season, Mount Carmel girls basketball coach Tim Willis wondered how many more points his Lady Aces could have scored against Olney on Monday night.
“I was probably more frustrated with our offense than our defense,” said Willis. “We’ve talked about it all year. We have to execute late, and we need to slow down. We’ve got to get the look that we need. A couple of times we were throwing the ball all over the place. Not necessarily a turnover, but not the shot we wanted.”
As good as the Lady Aces were on offense, Olney was that much better. The Lady Tigers, in fact, were nothing short of amazing from the arc line, drilling 12 3-point field goals in a 67-50 non-conference win at Ron Herrin Gym.
“When someone makes 12 threes on you when you run a lot of man defense, that shouldn’t happen,” Willis said. “There were times when I was thinking they can shoot it but that’s how we’re going to get back in it. But give them credit. They made them.”
Five of the 3-balls came in the fourth quarter alone, when Olney finally put the visitors away with a 23-10 surge. Mount Carmel had rallied twice earlier from 10-point deficits, coming as close as one point on two occasions.
“The problem is that you use up so much energy getting back into it,” said Willis of the two comebacks. “We just didn’t quite get over the hump.”
The loss sent Mount Carmel (13-14) below the .500 mark for the first time all season. The Lady Aces will look to snap their four-game losing streak in the regular-season finale at Eldorado on Saturday. Then play begins Monday at the IHSA Class 2A Regional tournament in Fairfield.
Kylie Terrel led Mount Carmel with 27 points. Baylie Ray added 14 points. Also scoring for the Lady Aces: Haley Maguire with seven points, including the team’s only 3-pointer, Lauryn Wright with five and Kami Kline with two points.
Olney, which lost to Mount Carmel, 46-23, back on Nov. 25, improved to 16-9 with the win. In that previous meeting, the Lady Aces still had center Kylie Applebey in the starting lineup. She has since suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Underclassmen ruled the night for Olney. Sophomore Cameron Hough led the winners with 20 points, and five 3-pointers. Junior Julie Luna was next with 18 points, and soph Taylor LeCrone added four more 3-balls and 16 points.
Olney won the junior varsity game, 35-28.
ACES ASIDES… The 67 points given up by the Aces was the most all season, topping the 66 by Wood Memorial in a Dec. 22 game… Mount Carmel lost to Eldorado, 49-44, at the Lady Eagle Mid-Winter Classic, on Jan. 19… LA’s are 3-0 vs. teams in next week’s regional (1-0 vs. Carmi, 1-0 vs. Fairfield, 1-0 vs. Edwards County).