The Zionsville girls basketball team is going through some growing pains early this season.
The Eagles dropped two games over the last week, falling to Fishers 83-38 and to Bedford North Lawrence 62-19, to drop to 2-5 on the season.
“We are just so inconsistent right now,” Zionsville head coach Andy Maguire said. “We play some good minutes, but against the teams we play, if you have any lulls, you are going to pay for it. We have played teams that have executed really well, and we haven’t.”
With a roster primarily of sophomores and younger players, Maguire knew it was going to take a while to get rolling.
To make things even more difficult, the Eagles still have an extremely tough schedule, with two of their five losses coming to teams ranked in the top-5 in the state, including Fishers.
“You learn a lot, and when you struggle, I think that’s when you learn the most about your kids and their mental toughness,” Maguire said. “We lack confidence in some areas, and part of that is we haven’t really played together. We have gotten better in some areas, but there are still a lot of skill things that we have to work on.”
Some of the big things the Eagles have to clean up are turnovers and shooting.
The Eagles had 20 turnovers against Fishers and 27 against Bedford North Lawrence.
Zionsville shot just 14 of 46 against the Tigers, and 9 of 48 (19 percent) against the Stars.
Laila Hull had 11 points and six rebounds against Fishers and added eight points and 12 rebounds against Bedford North Lawrence.
Alyssa McCarthy had eight points against Fishers and five points against Bedford North Lawrence. Aalia Carlson added eight against the Tigers.
Maguire said there were some positives to take away from the two games, but knows they have to get better.
“I think we played harder and rebounded better,” Maguire said. “That’s one area that was hurting us. But we have shot the ball poorly, at Bedford especially and we are turning the ball over too much. Our ball handling is an area we have to get better at. We had 27 turnovers against Bedford, and you can’t win games like that. When you put those things together you are going to struggle.”
One thing that could give the Eagles a boost is the return of junior Katey Richason, who has missed the entire year so far with an injury.
Maguire said that he knows her return isn’t a cure all for everything, but it will definitely help to half the Miami University commit available.
“It is going to help a lot, and help Laila especially, taking some pressure off her and putting her in her more natural position,” Maguire said. “It’s not going to be an overnight change, and we told our kids that. We are excited to have her back, but it is still going to take some time. She is going to have some time to get some practice in and go from there.”
The Eagles travel to Cathedral on Thursday for their only game this week.
The Irish are another quality test, posting a 5-2 record so far this year.
“They are playing really well right now,” Maguire said. “A one game week is going to help us, and I almost wish we didn’t have a game this week. We really need a week of practice. We really haven’t had a lot of practice time, and this group needs four or five straight practices. We will get three in row this week, then have a game and then three more practices before we face Western Boone, so it will be good.”