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The odds were always stacked against Mooseheart’s girls basketball team in Tuesday’s Class 1A Aurora Christian Regional semifinal against top-seeded Newark. After some initial success, the Lady Ramblers had to deal with an opponent that got better as the game progressed, and their season ended following a 66-20 loss.
“We drew a tough seed in this regional. I told the girls that if we get some quality wins in the course of the season, maybe we don’t have to face the No. 1 seed every year,” Mooseheart girls basketball coach Bryan Miller said.
The Ramblers stayed within striking distance of Newark through the first quarter, only trailing 12-6. Newark steadily pulled away the rest of the game.
“Obviously, Newark wasn’t at the top of their game at the start, but I was happy with our effort,” Miller said.
Newark had a commanding 27-8 halftime lead, and any hope of a Lady Ramblers rally ended in the third quarter, when the Lady Norsemen scored 24 points to nearly double their first-half point total. Newark was led in the contest by a quartet of double-digit scorers: Meggie Scott (15 points), Alyssa Gittins (11 points), Riane Tomsa (10 points) and Evie Martin (10 points.)
Mooseheart was led in scoring by Omoyi Omana, who scored 8 points. Omana was one of two Mooseheart seniors who played her last game on Tuesday. The other was point guard Jordan Plummer, who scored 2 points.
“Losing seniors always leaves you with big shoes to fill,” Miller said. “Last year, we lost some quality ones, and this year, you tack on two more. Next year, I think we’re going to live in a mantra of ‘big shoes to fill,’ because we’re definitely going to have some big shoes to fill.”
Miller added that for the returning players, the next season has already become as they look to improve their skills before practice begins in November.
“That’s always your goal as a coach,” Miller said. “It’s ‘how can we get better next year?’ and ‘how can we get them on the court and get them some reps in the offseason?’”