Houston Lady Tigers coach Brent Kell calls shots around the basket ‘bunnies.’ Call them what you want, they weren’t going in the hole.

The Lady Tigers shot 30.2 percent from the field and went six minutes without a field goal in the decisive second quarter in a 53-37 loss Monday to Seymour inside Hiett Gymnasium.

Houston (1-1) wasn’t missing difficult shots. Many were in the paint and around the basket. It didn’t get much better at the free-throw line, where the Lady Tigers were 9-for-17.

Kell said he counted at least seven point-blank misses.

“It seemed like we’d run a good set, then we would miss the shot,” Kell said. “Even the kids were like, ‘Man, I just can’t put it in the basket.'”

Despite the poor shooting, Houston rallied from a double-digit deficit to pull within striking distance. With the Lady Tigers behind 33-21 in the third, senior Tory Burgess buried 3-pointers from the same spot on the left wing on consecutive possessions, and Erica Keeney converted a basket in traffic to cut the deficit to four.

But Strafford scored eight straight points and led 44-32 entering the fourth quarter.

Houston attempted to rally again with fullcourt pressure. Strafford easily handled it.

“When we went with traps, we didn’t shut (the double team) down,” Kell said. “We were passive. That was one of our strongest defenses in the summer time, and we’re just not playing it well right now.”

Kenney had team-highs of 16 points and eight rebounds. Burgess hit the team’s lone 3-pointers en route to six points and had three assists. Keeney and Burgess had two steals apiece.

“We got beat up physically,” Kell said. “They got in there and just took the ball away from us at times. We’ve got to get tougher — whether it’s going after the ball more aggressively or whatever.”

JUNIOR VARSITY: Alissa Bowlin scored 12 points in the JV Lady Tigers’ 54-23 loss to Strafford.

Box score

VARSITY

Strafford 16 14 14 9 — 53

Houston 14 7 11 5 — 37

STRAFFORD (53) — Tayler Filley 9. Emily Oberbeck 8. Jaclyn Hankins 1. Morgan Graffis 6. Paige Lea 3. Shelby Quick 8. Ashlee Jackson 5. Anna Flint 13. FG 14, FT 18-25, F 19. (3-pointers: Oberbeck 2, Graffis 2, Filley, Lea, Quick).

HOUSTON (37) — Alexa Ichord 3. KKell 1. Burgess 6. Scheets 3. HKell 4. Erica Keeney 16. Elizabeth Hayes 4. FG 13, FT 9-17, F 19. (3-pointers: Burgess 2. Fouled out: Ichord, Amber Sillyman).

JUNIOR VARSITY

Strafford 10 14 20 10 — 54

Houston 14 3 3 3 — 23

HOUSTON (23) — Alissa Bowlin 12. Kaitlyn Neal 2. Sydney Cremer 4. Maddie Vandiver 3. Kaylea Preheim 1. Kayla Guynn 1. FG 8, FT 6-15, F 15. (3-pointers: Bowlin).

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