After ripping off two wins in a row, the Illinois Valley Central team could not keep the streak alive and fell to Ottawa, 42-29, at home Thursday.
"Our performance was good, we just ran into a good team," coach Marc Lowe said. "They were very disciplined in what they ran. It's not that we did anything bad, it was just one of those nights where you meet a really good team and things you do don't work."
Ottawa quickly established itself as the better team when it took a 15-9 lead in the opening quarter.
Hallie Shirley did all she could to keep things close in the early minutes by taking high-percentage shots.
Shirley tied Erica Larson with nine points for the team lead.
In the second quarter, Ottawa dug a hole IVC had very little chance to climb out of by going up 29-15 at halftime.
The Ghost defense clamped down in the second half and only allowed 13 points.
Ottawa's defense, however, continued keeping IVC from finding an offensive rhythm and surged to the win.
The team hosted alumni night Saturday but could not get the win when Flanagan came to town and won, 45-35.
"That was an interesting game," Lowe said. "That was a hard game for our kids to adjust to. We didn't hit some shots that we should have."
IVC started the game on a tear, sending in tough shots over defenders as well as wide open shots that came as a result of good ball movement.
Shirley made tough passes against the Flanagan defense to give teammates viable scoring chances while taking open shots of her own when the opportunities arose.
Despite the great offensive performance of the first half, the defensive effort could not match it and the Lady Ghosts held a slim 22-21 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, IVC's offense completely dropped off and only put up two points during the eight minutes.
"I think in the last two games, it seems like the third quarter is the quarter that we have to work on," Lowe said. "We come out after halftime kind of flat and have to battle our way back and don't seem to score a lot in that quarter."
Flanagan had no such problems and took the lead by driving through Ghost defenders and popping open shots from the perimeter.
In the final frame, each side put in 11 points, which sent the Flanagan Falcons home with the win.
"I know that we are going to fight to the end," Lowe said. "We are handicapped in scoring and so we need to find where the majority of our scoring will come from. We have to focus and finish, that has been our main point in the last week."
Page 2 of 2 - The team next plays Saturday in the St. Bede Holiday Tournament with times and opponents to be announced.
"I think we are going to have to pull together," Lowe said. "This team is going to have to be a defensive team that scores points off steals and transition baskets.
"Our defense has to step up a whole notch. If we go in and lock that down, we will be fine."