The North Zulch Lady Bulldogs basketball team split a pair of district games over the week to result in a win-or-go-home season finale against Burton on Tuesday for senior night at NZHS.
The Lady Bulldogs fell to Normangee at home last Tuesday by a score of 67-35 before they took down Burton 45-21 on the road on Friday. It was the second time they lost to Normangee and their second victory over Burton.
The Panthers, one of the district’s top teams, jumped out to a 15-2 lead over North Zulch in the opening quarter and did not look back. They would post 21 points in the fourth to cruise to a 32-point win.
“After the game, I told the girls that we play in a district with three teams that could win multiple playoff games,” said North Zulch Basketball Coach Michael Stenseth. “(Normangee) is a very athletic, competitive and experienced team. We would look good for a few possessions and then look like a junior high team on others.”
Lakin Maddin scored 14 points to lead the Lady Bulldogs and was followed by Kaitlyn Douga with 11 and Cheyanne Wallen with eight. Maddin buried four three-point shots in the game and Douga hit three.
The team traveled to Burton on Friday for a rematch with those Panthers, who they defeated 77-25 on Jan. 15. With the magnitude of Tuesday’s game against Iola, Stenseth spent most of his practice time leading up to Burton focused on that matchup.
“We wanted the extra time to prepare for Iola and used the Burton game to work on some of the things we needed to fix,” said Stenseth. “I thought we would be mature enough to handle that, which was not the case after the first quarter, but we got things corrected and locked down on defense.”
North Zulch was trailing 10-8 after the opening quarter but outscored Burton 37-11 the rest of the way and shut them out in the third quarter. Maddin hit three three-pointers and led the team in scoring once again with 18. Shelby Harkrider recorded seven points and Wallen added eight.
The Lady Bulldogs held their senior night at NZHS against Iola on Tuesday night. A win would result in another game against Iola in the first round of the playoffs while a loss would end their season.