Louisburg junior Madisen Simpson drives the lane during a home game earlier this season. Simpson scored a team-high 13 points in the Lady Cats’ 56-43 loss to Frontenac on Tuesday at Frontenac High School.
FRONTENAC – The Louisburg girls basketball team was already young and lacking experience coming into the season, but going into Tuesday’s road contest with Frontenac, the Lady Cats were without one of their more experienced players.
Junior guard Paige Buffington was out with an ankle injury and the Lady Cats had to go deeper into their bench. Louisburg stayed within striking distance, but Frontenac eventually pulled away for a 56-43 victory.
Despite having Buffington out, several Lady Cats stepped up in her absence.
Junior guard Madisen Simpson scored a team-high 13 points, including three 3-pointers. Freshman Carson Buffington finished in double figures again with 11 rebounds to go along with her six points. Junior Emalee Overbay also pulled down seven rebounds.
Freshman guard Kennia Hankinson also had six points on the night, including two 3-pointers. Senior Megan Lemke finished with five points and performed well on the defensive end.
“Our overall play was solid in the first half of last night’s game and with Paige out we had several girls step up their play,” Louisburg coach Shawn Lowry said. “Carson and Emalee were very strong on the boards and their effort in the post was excellent. Megan Lemke is always tasked with defending the other team’s best player, regardless of size, and I thought she was very good.
“Madisen, Isabelle (Holtzen) and Kennia handled their zone pressure well. There are several younger girls coming off the bench that are gaining more confidence with each experience.”
The Lady Cats (1-7) got off to a good start as they took an 11-9 lead into the second quarter, but Frontenac started to pull away. The Raiders went on a 7-0 run late in the first half to take a 26-21 lead.
Frontenac then opened the third quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers to increase its lead to double digits. The Raiders outscored Louisburg 17-8 in the third quarter to pull away for the win.
It will be tough for the Lady Cats on Friday as they return to Frontier League play at De Soto. The Lady Cats will be without a couple players due to state debate, but Lowry hopes Paige Buffington can return.
“She was getting around better yesterday and we will see how she feels these next couple of days before we make a decision about Friday,” Lowry said.
Tipoff for the Lady Cats game at De Soto is set for approximately 6 p.m.
LOUISBURG 11 10 8 14 – 43
FRONTENAC 9 17 17 13 – 56
LOUISBURG (1-7): Madisen Simpson 5-17 0-0 13; Carson Buffington 3-3 0-0 6; Kennia Hankinson 2-10 0-0 6; Megan Lemke 2-9 0-0 5; Emalee Overbay 2-5 0-0 4; Ryan Caldwell 1-1 1-1 3; Isabelle Holtzen 1-9 0-2 2; Megan Roy 1-1 0-0 2; Bailey Kern 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 16-58 1-3 43. 3-point field goals: 5, (Simpson 3, Hankinson 2).