DEERFIELD There are two similarities to the Syracuse Lady Bulldogs and the Deerfield Lady Spartans.

Their non-league basketball game Monday night reminded both coaches, Mark Akers of Syracuse and Doug Crandall of Deerfield, just what their teams have been trying to overcome most of the season. The 45-41 Syracuse triumph was the final evidence for both coaches.

"We'd get up by six, eight and couldn't put them away," Akers said of his team that trailed early in the second quarter.

"We've played a lot of people close this season but just can't seem to come up with the big play to get us over the hump," said Crandall.

In essence, both teams shot the ball about as coldly as the outdoor temperatures Monday.

Syracuse managed just 15-of-42 (35.7 percent) field goals (1-of-8 from the 3-point line) and were just 14-of-28 at the free throw line. Deerfield was even colder, going 16-of-59 (27.1 percent) from the field (4-of-20 from 3-point range, 20 percent) and was a chilly 5-of-16 from the charity stripe.

"We played well considering how poorly we shot the ball," Crandall said. "If we shoot either free throws or field goals halfway good, we have a chance to win, we'd be right there. But we didn't."

The Lady Bulldogs led at each of the quarter stops, but couldn't provide any separation from the Lady Spartans. The biggest Syracuse lead was 36-28 late in the third stanza.

"The effort was there, but we just seemed to be slow," Akers said. "It's one of those nights where you seem to struggle and it's just good to have a win when we don't play well. It seems like we always have a difficult time playing well here so that makes winning difficult as well."

When the Bulldogs were up by eight, Katie Freburg nailed a baseline 3-pointer to make it a five-point deficit for the Spartans. On three separate occasions in the final quarter, Syracuse was ahead by five and could never break free. Seven of their nine points in the final period came at the free throw line.

"We'll run the plays we want and then somebody will make a bad decision," Akers said. "But Deerfield is a much improved team from a year ago and they have played a bunch of teams close."

Seniors Kylee Hedberg and Kamie Rash paced the Bulldogs with 16 and 12 points, respectively. Hedberg finished with 11 rebounds. Bridget Crandall, Deerfield's leading scorer, managed 13 but was just 4-of-18 from the field and 3-of-10 at the line.

The Lady Spartans are at Healy tonight for a non-league game. Syracuse will play host to Sublette on Friday in a Hi-Plains League contest.


Syracuse 45, Deerfield 41

SYRACUSE (8-6) Rash 4-13 4-7 12, Sharp 3-6 0-0 7, Gordanier 0-2 1-2 1, Nairn 0-4 4-6 4, Dowell 0-0 0-0 0, Graber 0-0 0-0 0, Hedberg 6-14 4-8 16, Darnell 0-1 1-3 1, Gerard 2-2 0-2 4. Totals 15-42 14-28 45.

DEERFIELD (6-12) Pettz 0-2 0-0 0, Soto 0-1 0-0 0, Crandall 4-18 3-10 13, Novack 2-14 1-2 5, Vides 1-9 0-0 3, Morgan 0-1 0-1 0, Hernandez 3-5 0-1 6, Freburg 2-4 0-0 5, Smith 4-5 1-2 9. Totals 16-59 5-16 41.

Syracuse 12 15 9 9 -- 45

Deerfield 11 12 8 10 -- 41

3-point goals Syracuse 1-8 (Rash 0-2, Sharp 1-4, Hedberg 0-2), Deerfield 4-20 (Crandall 2-12, Novack 0-5, Vides 1-2, Freburg 1-1). Rebounds Syracuse 43 (Hedberg 11), Deerfield 45 (Novack 9). Turnovers _ Syracuse 14, Deerfield 11. Fouls Syracuse 16, Deerfield 21. Fouled out Syracuse (Sharp), Deerfield (Novack, Vides).