by Tim Smith
The Cedarville Lady Jackets opened the unprecedented 2020 season with a close loss to Ohio Dominican, 95-92. It was neck and neck throughout the game, the outcome not clear until the final buzzer. Each time one team would start to pull away, the other would pull back in. In the end the Panthers emerged victorious.
Though it is a tough loss for the Lady Jackets, there were some positives for the upcoming season. Coming into this season, head coach Kari Hoffman emphasized that the team needed to improve on their shooting, and they did so tonight, garnering a solid 48.6 percentage from the field. They also had the advantage on the Panthers in steals (8-5), blocks (2-0), and minimizing turnovers (7-9).
Where Ohio Dominican proved superior, though, appeared to be what changed the game. The Panthers out-rebounded Cedarville 40-35. Although not a large margin, in a game as close as this one, every opportunity for possession and scoring goes a long way. In a surprising look from the Jackets, the Panthers shot significantly better from the 3-point range, with a 42.9 shooting percentage compared to Cedarville’s 32.4. This was unlike Cedarville who is traditionally known for their game from behind the arc.
One of the brightest spots from the game for Cedarville was the spread of contribution, from new freshman to experienced seniors. The Lady Jackets were led in scoring by their senior guard Ashlyn Huffman with 28 points, shooting above 50 percent from the field.
The youth of the Lady Jackets also shined through tonight, with junior Allison Mader scoring a career-high 21 and sophomores Isabelle Bolender and Paige Garr scoring 20 and 14, respectively. Junior Emily Chapman led the team in assists with six total. As well, Chapman led the Jackets in rebounds, totaling seven boards. If the team can continue to spread the contribution across the team, they will truly become a force to be reckoned with, both this year and in the years to come.
The Lady Jackets’ next contest is their home opener in the Callan Athletic Center. They will host the University of Findlay on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 1 p.m. in which they hope to garner their first win of the season over the Oilers.
Cedarville men’s basketball was originally scheduled to open their season against Ohio Dominican this evening as well, but was unable to due to quarantine precautions following a positive COVID-19 test from a member of the team. They are currently scheduled to open their season on Dec. 11 against Ohio Valley.
Tim Smith is a sophomore Biblical Studies major and staff writer for Cedars. He loves football, 3 Musketeers Candy and primarily speaking in movie quotes.