McClain's Kaitlyn Jett is shown during Saturday's game vs. Peebles. (HCP Photos/Jim Jones)
McClain's Kaitlyn Jett is shown during Saturday's game vs. Peebles. (HCP Photos/Jim Jones)
The McClain varsity girls basketball team lost their season and home opener to Peebles, 38-32 on Saturday night in Greenfield.

Both teams struggled woefully to score in every quarter until Peebles broke loose for 20 points in the final period, which proved to be the difference in the ballgame.

The Lady Tigers led 9-5 after one quarter and 18-12 at the half, as Lily Barnes paced the McClain scoring with 10 points. McClain extended their lead to 26-18 at the end of the third frame after outscoring Peebles 8-6.

“We just turned the ball over way too much in the fourth quarter and that was the key factor in the game,” McClain head coach Jarrod Haines said after the game. “When you turn the ball over against a team with their quickness, it’s going to lead into fast-break points.

“I thought we contained them pretty well in the half-court defensive, it’s just that stretch in the fourth quarter that we turned the ball over that absolutely shot ourselves in the foot.

“For the most part, I thought our kids were focused and did a really good job of following our game plan, and we’ve got a lot of girls playing different roles who don’t have very many varsity minutes,” Haines continued.

Things continued to look good for the Lady Tigers early in the fourth period when they held a 28-21 advantage after two made free-throws by senior Payton Pryor with just a little over six minutes remaining in regulation. But this was the point of the game when things really started unraveling for McClain.

Peebles inserted an aggressive 1-3-1 half-court trap defensive at this time which forced the Lady Tigers into numerous turnovers that resulted into easy fast-break layups for Peebles and especially their go-to player junior Payton Johnson.

Peebles outscored McClain 20-8 in the period when Johnson scored 14 of her game-high 26 points.

“Our coaching staff is going to have to get use to this rotation, but it will all come together,” Haines said. “We just learned you have to put it together for four quarters not three, so hopefully we’ll bounce back and the kids will work hard to get better.

“I thought Lily had a good ball game for us, when we were getting the ball inside to her, we were playing really well and I thought Anna Eikenberry and Haylee Havens both played well for us inside. We just turned the ball over too much in the fourth quarter.”

Lily Barnes led McClain with a team-high 13 points, followed by Payton Pryor and Kaitlyn Jett with six points each. Haylee Havens and Anna Eikenberry were the only other Lady Tigers to score with four and three points, respectively.

McClain plays Paint Valley next on Tuesday.