LANSING | T.F. South junior Ninah Bertrand didn't want to send the Rebels seniors out like this.
The Rebels were unable to overcome a slow start, and South Suburban Blue Conference rival Oak Forest came away with a 51-34 victory on T.F. South senior night. Bertrand scored 21 points and pulled down eight rebounds in the loss. Kaitlin Togtman added nine points and two steals for the Rebels.
"We just didn't have the energy that we needed on defense," Bertrand said. "Usually our defense leads to offense, and we didn't have it today."
Oak Forest led off with a 12-0 run to start the game and led 20-3 after the first quarter. T.F. South was unable to execute at the defensive end of the floor early on, and the Bengals took advantage early and often.
"We were disinterested in the basketball game," T.F. South coach Steve Breshock said. "We had no energy, we had no fight. (Oak Forest) didn't do anything. They just passed the ball and shot."
T.F. South (9-15, 7-6) managed just 11 field goals on the night. Togtman and Bertrand accounted for all but four of the Rebel points, and the Rebels were unable to get into a rhythm at the offensive end as well. The loss dropped T.F. South to 7-6 in South Suburban Conference play.
"It was just a lack of effort," Breshock said. "We had no effort. Effort came late. After halftime, we played them even. You don't dig yourself a 20-3 hole, it's gonna be an even game."
Despite being down by double-digits early on, Bertrand said she was just trying to get a win for the T.F. South seniors in their last home game of the season.
"I just kept on playing hard because we had a goal to get our seniors a victory for their last home game," Bertrand said. "That was just motivating me to try to just dig us out of our hole. I think we just kind of got consumed by the emotions of this being the last home game, and that kind of blew our focus."