Elks utilize superior size, beat Chiefs

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Photo by Mike Powers Big Foot's Sophia Foster dribbles during the Chiefs' game against Elkhorn Monday night.

WALWORTH, Wis. - The Big Foot Chiefs had overcome a lack of size and foul trouble from leading scorer Reagan Courier Monday night against Elkhorn.

With seven minutes remaining in the game, the Chiefs trailed the Elks by just five points, a few long-range bombs away from taking the lead.

However, whatever formula Big Foot used to stay in the game was reversed, as Elkhorn went on a decisive 14-0 run to put the game away, eventually winning 63-44.

Big Foot's scoring options with Courier on the bench are limited. She picked up her second foul of the first half when her team was up five points. By the time intermission hit, the Chiefs were down a bucket.

Courier and Abby Van De Bogart each had seven points, with Van De Bogart beating the buzzer with a jumper to cut the lead in half.

In the second half, Elkhorn used its superior size to its advantage, pounding the ball inside and occasionally kicking it out for an open jumper.

Once Courier exited with her fourth foul, it was curtains for the Chiefs, who lost for the second straight time to drop to 7-4 on the season.

"Defending their big girls was our main problem tonight," Big Foot guard Viola Larson said. "We could've played better defense in our press. When we get steals, that leads to easy baskets and that didn't happen a lot tonight."

Payton Christiansen led the Elks with 17 points, while Hailey Remington added 15.

Courier, the Rock Valley Conference's leading scorer at 19 points per game, still managed to score 15 despite her minutes being limited. Lindsay Paulson added 10 for the Chiefs.

"Towards the end, we really had to press up to try and get turnovers, and they ended up getting a lot of one-on-one matchups inside," Big Foot coach Michael Dowden said. "And that's not a good matchup for us. That hurt us. And we're still struggling to find that offensive game. We got good shots inside the paint, but we were only 10-for-25 when we got in there. If you look across our league, there isn't a lot of size like what we saw out of Elkhorn tonight. It caused us some problems, because I think once we got into the paint, we were looking at them instead of looking at the rim."

Courier's penchant for foul trouble isn't anything new. She says it's a problem she's working to correct.

"What happens is that I'll make a mistake on offense or turn it over, and I'll go and try to make up for it," Courier said. "I'll get too aggressive and commit a foul. I know it's something I've got to correct."

The Elks also did a nice job on Courier, pressuring her on the outside with a 2-3 zone, their height inside making driving lanes difficult to exploit.

"One, we just have to get better all-around on offense," Dowden said. "Sometimes having success early in a season is a really good thing," Dowden said. "And sometimes you tend to overlook some things when you have that success. That's on us as coaches. With us, if playing fast isn't going well, then we just have to play faster. If that doesn't work, we have to play even faster than that. We don't have the ability to score consistently in the half court. We have a lot of good role players right now, but we need them to become better basketball players."

The Chiefs can get back on the winning track Thursday when they play at Brodhead.

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