"They almost beat us. I told my girls, they ought to have beaten us."
So said Branford head coach Wade Cashwell, after a fast-improving Cedar Key girls' team held his Lady Bucs to 23 points in a defense-heavy, 23-13 Branford win.
Branford's Kristin Lynch still dominated, scoring almost half of her team's points with her game-high 10. But Cedar Key's Kacey Miller was almost Lynch's match, with 8 points on the night.
The Bucs had the advantage in size, experience and speed, and Cedar Key wasn't able to get much benefit shooting. To make up for it, they pressed the opposing ballhandler at every opportunity, and came away with a surprising number of balls.
The Sharks had a big third quarter, outscoring their visitors 9-6, but just couldn't keep up the momentum.
"We kind of let it slip away," said Cedar Key head coach Chris Cowart. "We made a pretty good run, but we just ran out of steam."
Cowart says his young team is really improving, and each game is a learning opportunity.
"Any time we play a close game, we try to understand what we should be doing in late game situations. How to foul, trap -- we're trying to teach this on the fly."
With games like these, the Lady Sharks are one step closer to putting it all together.