MT. VERNON, Ind. — A strange thing happened to Mt. Carmel on the way to Monday’s sold out Big 8 Conference girls basketball showdown game against Princeton.
It will no longer be a battle of league unbeatens.
Mt. Vernon, winless in the Big 8, upset the Lady Aces, 64-57, Thursday night, snapping their two-season, 8-game league winning streak in the process.
The loss did nothing really to minimize the importance of Monday’s Big 8 showdown at home against Princeton, now alone atop the standings at 2-0 pending a Saturday game against Washington. Now one loss down to the Lady Tigers in the standings at 2-1, Mt. Carmel still needs the win - if only to possibly force a tie atop the standings.
Refusing to call it a “trap” game, Lady Aces coach Tim Willis instead took the blame for the Mt. Vernon loss.
“I did a horrible job getting them ready,” Willis said. “Obviously, this one is on me. We’re not going to hang our heads. We’ll come back tomorrow and have a good attitude.”
Mt. Carmel, trailing by as many as 12 points, 47-35, at the end of the third quarter, pressed their way back into contention with a 15-2 run to regain the lead, 50-49. But, they couldn’t sustain their new-found advantage.
“They made some great shots, give credit to them,” Willis said of the Wildcats. “I thought we were in pretty good shape, things were going in our direction, then we gave up too many easy shots.”
The loss spoiled the return of Alex Rosignol, who played for the first time since suffering a knee injury last summer.
“She came in and gave us a lot more minutes than I thought she would,” Willis said. “She is still a little rusty, but her effort was tremendous.”
Rosignol scored four points, both on offensive rebound baskets, and recorded two blocks as well.
Mt. Carmel (12-3, 2-1 in Big 8), ranked ninth in this week’s Class 2A poll, was led by Tyra Buss with 38 points. Reagan Keepes added 13 points.
Mt. Vernon (4-7, 1-3) was led by Ellen Foster and Alexis Nall, both with 16 points. Cheyenne Strobel finished with 15.
The Lady Aces will try to bounce back Saturday at home against Lawrenceville. The junior varsity game begins at noon.
NOTES: There was no JV game Thursday because of low numbers in the Mt. Vernon program... Buss ends her prep career winless in the Mt. Vernon gym, as the Lady Aces lost there in 2012 as well.