Kelsey Oehler (with the ball) is defended by an Edgewood player during Thursday's game.
The North Clay sixth-grade Lady Knights squandered an early lead Thursday night, falling to Edgewood Junior High 34-19 in their first game of the 2005-06 season.
Solid perimeter shooting by guard Dallas Butts propelled the Knights to a 7-2 lead near the end of the first quarter. But Edgewood found its rhythm, taking the lead with 2:00 to play in the second quarter and never letting go. Coach Mandy Smith attributed her team's second-half struggles to a combination of nerves and inexperience.
"This is a young team. My whole goal in tonight's game was to get their first-game jitters out of the way," she said. "I wanted to get a little bit of experience that we can build on."
In the end, the Lady Colts' superior size and suffocating full-court press proved more than North Clay could handle. Edgewood forced turnover after turnover, converting on stolen in-bounds passes and running up a 13-point lead by the end of the third quarter.
Butts led the Lady Knights in scoring with nine points, followed by Alyssa Conrad with six and Kylie McKee with four.
North Clay's B-squad fared a little better. The Lady Knights'second team turned in a solid defensive effort, but still emerged with an 18-16 loss. Samantha Montague led the way for the B-team with nine points.
The sixth grade girls will be back in action on Monday with a trip to Clay City.