The Lady Ghosts did not want to start the season like this.
Illinois Valley Central's girls basketball team's first game was a 48-28 loss to Limestone Nov. 21 on the road during the Limestone Tournament.
"I think that game was very interesting from the fact that we played a very good team our first time out so we had some jitters going on," coach Marc Lowe said. "We just didn't take care of the ball. We played well at times but we can't turn the ball over like we did."
Offensively, the Ghosts started by giving the Rockets a 14-3 advantage in the opening quarter.
By halftime, Limestone pushed the lead to 22-8.
IVC's offense began to find a rhythm in the second half with Hallie Shirley, who led the Ghosts with six points, sinking shots over opponents and creating open shots for teammates.
The scoring of the second half, however, was too little, too late and the Ghosts dropped the opening game.
The team then lost to Manual, 42-31, at Limestone in the second game of the tournament.
"We had too many turnovers there," Lowe said. "We had 42 turnovers. If we had taken care of the ball we would have come out with a W. Our thing for us is that we are not getting started very well and are digging ourselves into a hole."
Things were close after the first quarter, with Manual holding a slim 13-9 lead.
IVC cut the lead to 20-17 at halftime thanks to the smart shot selection of Shirley, who led the team with 14 points for the game.
Despite timely passing from Sarah Lawson in the third and fourth quarter, shots would not fall for the Ghosts and the steady offense of Manual kept putting points on the board to hold on to the lead.
The team's closest game of the week came Saturday in a 38-33 loss to Notre Dame in the final round of the tournament.
"I thought the kids played really well," Lowe said. "They are still getting adjusted. I'm just going with what they know right now and not throwing anything new at them and making them adjust during the game."
Notre Dame cruised through the first quarter to an early 18-2 lead.
IVC's defense woke up in the second quarter and shut down Notre Dame, holding the opponent to four points.
Notre Dame's defense continued playing as a brick wall and gave the team a 22-6 lead at halftime.
The Ghost offense began to settle into a rhythm in the third quarter and started sinking shots.
Erica Larson cut through the Notre Dame defenders to take smart shots and lead the team with 10 points for the game.
Page 2 of 2 - In the final two quarters, the Ghosts scored 27 points due to good communication and smart shot selection but it was not enough to climb out of the hole.
"The first three teams were pretty good and are very different from each other," Lowe said. "We just have to build from those games. Those games are done and over with and we have to move on.
"We hung with teams at times. For the Notre Dame game, we beat them for three quarters and the same with Manual. We know we can do it and we are capable of doing it. It is just a matter of taking care of the ball right now."
The team next plays at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Princeton.
"We are going to have to make some adjustments this week," Lowe said. "We have to take care of the ball and handle the press. That's what caused a lot of problems for us against Limestone and Manual. We came out with a lot of empty possessions and weren't able to run our offenses.
"Once the girls win, I think we will see a whole new team. Once they get that feeling under the belt it will be a whole different team."