The Central Lakes College Raiders women's basketball team was hoping its newly installed offense would breathe life into a team and cure its ills.
Instead, the Raiders may need the crash cart and are close to being put on life support after falling to the Rochester Community College Yellowjackets 74-56 Friday.
"I guess I don't know how to make our offense any easier," Raiders coach Dennis Eastman said. "Frustration is big with me right now and I don't know what to do. We keep making the same mistakes. We're not learning and that's what makes me mad.
"We get to a point when someone makes a mistake they give up."
While watching Texas on television one day, Eastman saw something the Longhorns did on offense and applied it to his team.
"Our normal offense wasn't getting the players in position to shoot where they're good," Eastman said. "I readjusted and looked at what each player does well.
We're trying to rotate the players to where they're comfortable."
And it worked. For a while.
After a Nicole Pastwa 3-pointer started the game, the Raiders scored the game's next 11 points, highlighted by two Megan Eastman jumpers and two baskets by Nikki Perlinger. The Raiders went into halftime with a 26-22 lead.
That's when the wheels started coming off the cart. The Yellowjackets started the second half with a 7-0 run and put the game out of reach with an 11-0 run.
Rochester harassed CLC into 29 turnovers that resulted in 37 points. Yellowjackets guard Teya Heath had six steals and 16 points.
"We don't have a true point guard," Eastman said, "and we have to relieve that pressure by starting our offense. But our people aren't responding to that. When someone is in trouble they don't go to help."
CLC guard Bobbi VanWechel scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed nine boards while Megan Eastman scored 12 points and had eight rebounds.
Dennis Eastman liked what he saw when the team ran the new offense, but admitted they only ran a small portion of it.
"The offense worked exactly the way I thought it would," said Eastman. "But that was only one phase of the offense and we never got to the second or third phase. It was like the players just stopped.
"We tried to get Megan off to get some shots, and get our big people rolling, get Bobbi coming off double screens for threes and that's the part we never did."
Winless after seven games, Dennis Eastman isn't ready to hit the panic button yet. But he also knows the problems his team faces need to be worked out by the players.
"There's obstacles that we have to overcome," Eastman said, "but they're obstacles I can't help them overcome. That's the frustrating part, when you're a coach and you don't have control over it. They'll just have to ride the wave."
Rochester 22 52 -- 74
Central Lakes 26 30 -- 56
Teya Heath 16, Deanna Schmidt 9, Melanie Bartsch 1, Melissa Cords 10, Kjerstin Back 3, Jackie Siewart 12, Stephanie Eslinger 3, Nicole Pastwa 7, Lauren Weness 12, Alison Brandt 1. Team totals: FG 31-77 (40.3 percent), FT 7-20 (35 percent). Overall -- 6-1.
Bobbi VanWechel 19, Megan Eastman 12, Kaylee Bandemer 6, Jada Illies 2, Terra Wincher 4, Nikki Perlinger 7, Beth Rogge 5, Jackie Sullivan 1. Team totals: FG 19-59 (32.2 percent), FT 17-24 (70.8 percent). Overall -- 0-7. Next game: at Gogebic tournament 5:30 p.m. Friday.
3-point baskets -- CLC 1 (Rogge), RCC 4. Rebounds -- CLC 52 (VanWechel 9, Eastman 8), RCC 48. Assists -- CLC 7 (Bandemer 3), RCC 14. Steals -- CLC 14 (Perlinger 4), RCC 20. Turnovers -- CLC 29, RCC 20.
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