ROCKINGHAM — After watching his team fall in defeat for the first time this season, Temple Christian girls basketball coach Broderick Hair shouldered all the blame.
“I told them after the game that the loss was on me,” Hair said. “I didn’t have them prepared for the man-to-man defense they saw tonight. I’m sure our shooting percentage was pretty bad.”
Temple Christian finished the night hitting just 28 percent of their shots from the field en route to a 56-40 loss to Marlboro Academy Monday night on Senior Night. Temple is now 14-1 on the season.
The Dragons limited the Tigers’ leading scorer, Claire Jordan, to 12 points.
“They took Claire out of the game and I think turnovers hurt us too,” Hair said. “All in all we played as poorly as we have all season. They’re taking it pretty hard.”
Charis Byrd was the only other Temple player to reach double figures, scoring a game-high 20 points. She thought the Marlboro Academy defense was the key factor in the loss.
“Going in we knew it was going to be a tough game,” she said. “We haven’t seen anyone playing man-to-man against us. It was a let down for sure, especially since we had been unbeaten to this point. Even if we only lose one game, it is still going to be a great season.”
After trailing by 10 at the end of the first quarter, Temple trimmed the deficit to three at halftime. It got to within two on Byrd’s jumper with 5:44 left in the third, but Marlboro Academy responded with a 12-0 to regain control of the game.
Hair said the loss was difficult for the team but its goals are still the same from the beginning of the season — win the regular season conference title and capture the tournament championship.
“Of course we want to win them all, but that’s difficult to do,” Hair said. “Hopefully this humble pie will motivate them to playing better the rest of the season.”
Temple will close out its regular season schedule with three straight road games before the Carolina Christian Athletic Association Conference tournament. The Tigers are scheduled to return to action 4:30 p.m. today when they face Bible Baptist in Monroe.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson may be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.