Schlagle tripped up by Benton
By JEREMY BANKS, Sports Editor, Kansas City Kansan Newspaper
The F.L. Schlagle Stallions are a young team, with seven of its 12 varsity players on the roster being freshmen or sophomores.
“None of our girls on our basketball team have played varsity and it showed,” said Schlagle girls basketball coach Peyton Leslie.
The Lady Stallions fell to the Benton Lady Cardinals 62-26 Thursday at F.L. Schlagle High School.
Sophomore Ashliegh Downs led the Lady Stallions with 11 points and eight rebounds.
Erin Copeland had seven points and Arianna Pacheco had four points.
Schlagle, 0-1, battled Benton early in the game by playing good defense. The Lady Stallions, however, struggled to score. Benton took advantage, going on an 11-4 run and it finished the first quarter with a 15-4 advantage.
The Lady Stallions began pressing and forcing plays. It led to turnovers and too many quick shots down the floor.
“What we need now is experience,” Leslie said. “We need, as a team, to learn how to overcome adversity.
“In this game our adversity was ourselves.”
Leslie said Schlagle could have helped itself by concentrating each time down the floor. However, it couldn’t find ways to get settled.
“What we needed was a spark,” Leslie said. “We needed a spark when we were down 15. We never got that spark.
“We let things continue to get worse and continue to get worse, versus slowing the game down and executing.”
The Lady Stallions’ next game isn’t until Dec. 4 against Liberty in the Olathe South Tournament.
Leslie said the days leading up to the Liberty game will be spent focusing on execution.“We’ve got a few days of practice. We’re going to need that,” Leslie said.
Schlagle’s most effective practice time will be in live game action, Leslie said. He said the Lady Stallions have a talented roster of young players. He knows they need to get experience playing at the varsity level against tough competition.
He said Downs showed flashes. She wasn’t impressive, but she was a solid player.
“Early on he made some of the most wildest turnovers ever,”Leslie said. “But you can’t get mad at Ashliegh Downs because she plays 110 percent.”
Schlagle would like to get off to a fast start this year. A slow start to the season could be damaging to the team’s psyche. Leslie said he’d like to see the team improve before something like that can happen.
“The skies the limit for this team,” he said. “I’ve got to coach better.”