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Sidney ends East Mills girls’ season

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By Joel Stevens, Associate Editor

    The East Mills girls basketball team’s season ended with a 65-18 loss to Sidney in the first round of the Class 1A Regionals on Thursday.
    The Cowgirls out-scored the Wolverines (3-15 overall, 2-9 in the Corner Conference) 21-6 in the first quarter and led 39-10 at halftime.
    “Tonight we didn’t play very well, but we played very hard the entire game,” said East Mills coach Jeff Laughlin. “We didn’t lose, we were beaten by a better team. Defensively, we struggled because of their height advantage. We let them catch the ball where they wanted to on offense, and once that happens there isn’t much that we can do. Give them credit, they do a very good job of getting position and crash the offensive boards very well.
    “They shot the ball extremely well tonight, and if we were going to have a chance we needed the girls that we had to leave open to miss those shots.”
    Aimee Osborne scored 29 points to lead Sidney.
    Katie Sowers led East Mills with 10 points. For the game, the Wolverines shot a season-low 13 percent (5-of-38) from the field.
    “We actually ran our offense fairly well, and had quite a few good looks at the basket especially early in the game,” said Laughlin. “We just weren’t able to knock down the open shots, and we forced a few shots in the lane and had them blocked. We look much more confident in what we are trying to do and our ball movement is getting better, now we just have to start making some shots.”

Essex 51,
East Mills 48
    Essex out-scored the East Mills girls 5-2 in overtime to escape with a 51-48 Corner Conference victory last Tuesday.
    “This was a great game, and the girls played their heart out,” said East Mills coach Jeff Laughlin. “This was probably our best all-around game of the season. We seem to be getting better every game, and we are doing a great job of handling any sort of pressure lately. Tonight we were able to break the press easily and also get some wide-open shots because of it.”
    Essex led 37-27 at the end of the third quarter but East Mills out-scored the Trojanns 17-10 in the fourth to send the game into overtime.
    The Wolverines shot just 33.3 percent from the field (14-of-42) but turned the ball over 18 times to the Trojanns’ 23 and four more three pointers. The two teams combined to commit 52 fouls and go to the free throw line 70 times. Essex was 21-of-39 at the line and East Mills 16-of-31.
    “Our defense was once again very solid and we took away some of what they like to do offensively,” said Laughlin. “We are really starting to run our offense with some confidence and girls are starting to look to shoot more. Rebounding is still a problem at times, and we are giving our opponents way too many second chances on their offensive end. The girls are really working hard and it is starting to show. I am very proud of all of them for continuing to improve and play as a team all season.”
    Devin Laughlin led East Mills with 20 points. The freshman added eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals. Katie Sowers added 212 points and Amanda Hatcher eight.
    Annie Lindberg led Essex with 19 points and 11 rebounds.