Cold shooting stymied the Maple Leaf men’s and women’s basketball teams on Saturday afternoon against the visiting St. Francis Cougars.In the women’s game, seniors Haley Archibeque, Caitlyn O’Neal and Sydney Stein all started for the Leafs in their second-to-last home game.
St. Francis opened the game with a seven-point run that came to an abrupt halt after a TaNiece Chapman layup with five minutes left in the first quarter. The rest of the half quickly turned into a back-and-forth affair after the Leafs were able cut the deficit to two (10-8) at the end of the first quarter.
The last three minutes of the second quarter, however, saw St. Francis go on a 11-5 run aided by a late trifecta from Cougar center Emma Applegate with 31 seconds left in the first half.
After going into halftime with a 29-21 lead, St. Francis emerged from the locker room with a renewed defensive intensity that sparked eight Maple Leaf turnovers in the third quarter.
The Maple Leaf scoring misfortunes continued for the remainder of the third quarter, culminating in a 22-point shortfall (55-33). Unfortunately, the stoppage at the quarter failed to resolve Goshen’s shooting woes, resulting in a 72-36 loss that saw the Leafs shoot 1-14 from the field in the fourth quarter.
Despite winning the rebounding battle 37-34, the Leafs were plagued by foul trouble and turnovers throughout the game. Offensively, Goshen was led by first-years Graysen Cockerham and TaNiece Chapman with 10 points apiece. The Leafs’ defensive effort was highlighted by sophomore Keiyara Murff’s two blocks in only nine minutes of play.
The loss dropped the Leafs’ record to 1-15 in conference play and 8-20 overall. Goshen’s loss, in conjunction with a Spring Arbor victory over Bethel, eliminated the women from postseason contention.
On the men’s side, a gritty contest ultimately resulted in Goshen dropping a 95-74 decision to the Cougars.
Goshen opened the game with a 9-5 run that was highlighted by Demarkus Stuckey’s three-pointer with 15 minutes left in the first half. The Cougars responded with a solid offensive attack to retake the lead 14-13 with 11:22 in the first.
Despite the best efforts of the Leafs, the Cougars never relinquished their lead for the remainder of the half, taking a 46-36 lead into the locker room.
The halftime score fogged the competitiveness of the first half, with both teams converting 12 field goals. The free throw differential ultimately proved to be the difference-maker, with Goshen shooting seven free throws to the Cougars’ 25 attempts.
The second half widened the deficit between the Leafs and the Cougars. St. Francis shot 19-29 (65.5 percent) from the field while out-rebounding Goshen 22-11.
The second half was highlighted by Cougar Jeffrey Reynolds’ high-flying dunk through senior Patryck Ostrowski’s foul with 15 minutes remaining. Reynolds managed to convert the subsequent old-fashioned 3-point play for a 62-45 Cougar lead.
The remaining 10 minutes of the game did little to to alter the score, resulting in a 21-point Maple Leaf loss.
Goshen was led by its seniors, most notably Demarkus Stuckey. Stuckey finished with team-high totals in points, rebounds and assists with 27 points on 10-22 shooting. Senior Alhassan Barrie chipped in 11 points, while sophomore Austin Branagan had 16 on 8-8 shooting from the free throw line. St. Francis was led by Chandler White’s 22 points and Jalan Mull’s 24.
Goshen seniors Stuckey, Barrie, Ostrowski and Carter Boos were all recognized at the conclusion of the men’s game, as is tradition for the “senior night” game.