It was not a happy homecoming for either Allen County teams on Wednesday as both the Red Devil men and women fell at home to Independence.
With the losses, the men and the women move to 6-20 and 4-18 in conference play. The men have lost 10 straight while the women have lost six straight.
The Lady Devils trailed for the majority of their 69-40 loss.
Despite shooting only 6 percent less than the Lady Pirates overall and turning the ball over just three more times, the Lady Devils were hard-pressed to get anything going.
The girls struggled offensively and defensively, especially around the basket where they were outrebounded 60-26.
Allen County trailed 37-16 at the half. They were able to keep that deficit steady throughout the third quarter, trailing 49-29 headed into the fourth quarter but that’s when the wheels really fell off. Independence outscored them 20-11 to close out the game.
Sophomore Tamera Shaver led the Lady Devils with 19 points.
“I just want everything for them,” head coach Todd Buchanan said. “I told them in the locker room that some of them only have four more games, ever. Why hold back now? I’ve told them that the whole year. Now we’re four games away from sophomore night. It’s here. Why hold back?”
The Red Devils followed that up with an 81-76 heartbreaker.
The Allen County men found themselves up by as much as 17 points early in the second half after a strong first half.
But six minutes into the half, Independence cut the lead to seven. Two minutes later, the Red Devils had pushed the lead back to 10.
With seven-and-a-half minutes left, the Pirates cut Allen County’s led to two and two minutes after that, they took their first lead since very early in the first half.
“In the first half we were making shots,” head coach Andy Shaw said. “And we were only getting outrebounded by a couple. In the second half, they outrebounded us by 15. That’s just kind of been the story for us because we’re limited on the inside. That really hurt us late in the game.”
Independence stretched the lead to five with 1:45 left to play but in less than a minute, Allen County tied it up.
On the next possession, the Pirates took it right to the rim where freshman Red Devil Perry Carroll was waiting. The basket was good and the refs called a block where the Allen County players and coaches thought they saw a charge.
“I thought it was a good charge,” Shaw said. “It was a big play but it didn’t go our way. If it did, the game would’ve been tied and we would’ve had the last shot with a chance to win it. It just didn’t go our way tonight.”
Allen County had one final shot to tie it up with 20 seconds to play but couldn’t get a shot to fall.
“I was extremely proud of the fight we had tonight,” Shaw said. “I thought it was one of our best efforts. They were upset that we lost but I told them that if we play with that kind of effort and energy that we did tonight, then we’ll put ourselves in the position to go win a game. We’re down to just 10 guys right now and they’re still fighting. Eventually one of these will go our way.”
Both the Red Devil men and women will try to break their losing streaks on Saturday when they travel to Dodge City. Both teams beat the Conquistadors when they traveled to Iola in January.
PHOTO: Sophomore point guard Cordy Winston dribbles down the court in the Red Devil loss to Independence CC on Wednesday. REGISTER/TIMOTHY EVERSON
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