The Gretna girls basketball team picked a bad time to struggle shooting.
Poor shooting led to the Dragons' 61-50 loss to Norris in the first round of the Class B State Tournament Thursday at the Pinnacle Bank Arena, dropping Gretna to a final record of 19-6.
“It's disappointing,” Gretna coach Jerome Skrdla said. “Norris came in a played really well.”
Norris avenged two prior losses to the Dragons during the season with the win. Their determination was on display early on in the match-up.
“I thought they were the aggressor in the game, especially in the first half, which doesn't happen much to us,” Gretna coach Jerome Skrdla said. “We were better in the second half, but it was more desperate aggression.”
Gretna stuck first, building a 10-5 lead with about 3 minutes left in the first quarter after two 3-pointers from Mary Janovich and four points from Jamie Schuetz. The offensive struggle started there for the Dragons as Norris rattled off eight straight points to take a 13-10 lead just before the end of the quarter.
The Titans took control of the game by adding an 18-10 scoring advantage in the second quarter to build a 31-21 halftime lead.
“Our offense lost its consistency in the quarter,” Skrdla said. “We didn't attack their zone like we should have and didn't shoot a high percentage.”
In the second half, Gretna was in comeback mode but couldn't get over the hump. Each time the Dragons got within 10 in the third quarter, the Titans quickly responded to regain its double digit lead. Janovich hit a bucket late in the third to make it 42-32 heading to the fourth.
Janovich scored nine points in the fourth quarter to make things interesting, but Gretna wasn't able to score more than four points in a row to cut down the Norris lead.
The Dragons dwindled the lead down to six with just over a minute to go at 55-49, but Norris parried the run with four straight free throws, putting the game out of reach.
A big difference in the game was the size of Norris' Kasey Hohlen (6-1) and Andrea Jameson (6-2). Gretna's tallest player in their regular rotation is listed at 5-10.
“Their size definitely hurt us and we couldn't go inside,” Skrdla said. “It put added pressure on the outside to score, but we weren't hitting our shots tonight. Unfortunately, we rely so much on the 3.”
Kasey Hohlen scored a team-high 18 points for Norris with sister Kylie adding 16 and Jameson 11.
“Kasey has played as good as I've seen her play recently,” Skrdla said. “When she's playing like this, there's no one in the state that can stop her.”
Gretna was led by Janovich and Schuetz, like much of the year, with Janovich netting 22 points and Schuetz adding 14.
The two Dragons have accounted for a little over half of the teams total points this season. The seniors have been a mainstay for the program over the last few years and will be difficult to replace.
“Jamie and Mary are both outstanding leaders,” Skrdla said. “They compete so hard, but today they just needed some help.”