Gobles bests Lady Clippers to take district hoops title

It was the end of the line Friday night for the Martin girls’ varsity basketball team.

The Lady Clippers suffered a 46-33 defeat at the hands of Gobles in the Division 4 district tournament finals at Lawrence.

Martin led 17-14 at intermission, but the Tigers used an 18-7 advantage in the third period to take control of the ballgame.

“We battled incredibly hard tonight,” coach Ben Schipper said. “Our effort was top notch overall as a team for the entire fourth quarter. We were on the floor for loose balls and battling hard for rebounds all night long.”

Gobles threw a diamond press at Martin for the entire game.

“We handled it pretty well for the most part,” Schipper said. “We knew they’d come out and pressure us, so it was a huge emphasis for us to stay composed and take care of the ball. We were very confident in our ability to stop their offense in the half court, but needed to limit their fast break run outs. To do this, we couldn’t afford to turn the ball over, especially versus the press.”

The coach pointed to a rough three-minute stretch early in the third quarter where the Clippers turned the ball over several times and didn’t get back to the paint in transition defense.

“This swung the momentum to Gobles and we were never able to recover,” Schipper said. “Scoring has been a struggle for us over the last month and we weren’t able to generate enough offense to climb back in the game.

“We’re so proud of the effort the girls gave to the very end. Even though we were fatigued from our intense battle, we full court pressed in the fourth and fouled to try to extend the game.”

Gobles was only 5 for 12 from the free throw line in the fourth, but Martin just couldn’t capitalize on the offensive end.

“Credit to Gobles as they attacked the basket relentlessly all game and it drew a lot of fouls,” Schipper said. “They made shots in the second half when they needed them and forced turnovers during that three-minute stretch that swung the game in their favor.”

He praised the commitment from three seniors : Makala Goddard, Liz Reinke and Lily Stocking.

Makala Goddard led the Clippers with nine points and Tarryn Harris added eight.

The two teams had split in their encounters during the regular season, with Martin winning 47-38 in December and the Tigers earning payback, 45-38, on Feb. 2. Gobles, with Friday night’s win, improved to 17-5 overall.

The Lady Clippers completed a season in which they started very strong with a 10-1 record, but they finished at 14-9.

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