Just not enough shots went down.
The underdog Oak Creek girls basketball team (21-5) had a good game plan against the much bigger and more talented Rufus King (25-0) in the WIAA sectional final at West Allis Central on March 4.
Run spread, draw the taller Generals out and create alleys for open shots.
They did just that, but to coach Steve Hluchnik's dismay, the shots just wouldn't drop often enough.
The Knights rallied from an 11-point deficit early in the second half and cut it to two with four minutes left but could draw no closer as King earned a berth in the WIAA state tournament with a 63-52 victory.
"We just couldn't hit a shot," Hluchnik said. "I think we were something like 5-of-22 from 3 (point range), and almost all of them were open looks, and it just wasn't one or two key people. It was everybody."
The loss denied the Southeast Conference Knights a repeat state tourney berth and their third trip in four years while the Generals will head off to the Resch Center in Green Bay for a WIAA Division 1 state semifinal Friday, March 10, against No. 1-ranked Appleton North (26-0).
Oak Creek had advanced to the final with a victory over Brookfield Central in the sectional semifinal on March 2.
Hluchnik liked his team's attitude and effort against the Generals.
They came out and took a small early lead and trailed only 32-29 at the break. But Oak Creek missed its first nine shots of the second half as King bolted ahead, 40-29, before pushing back and closing the deficit to 51-49 with four minutes left.
But King scored on its next possession, and a critical Knights' turnover left them on the outside looking in.
"It was still only four with about 2:30 left, but we missed a layup, and that really hurt," said Hluchnik.
The Generals would make 10 of 12 free throws in the final 2:30 to ice the victory. Sophomore guard Kaye Clark hit 10 of 12 free throws for the game herself, while 6-4 sophomore center Sydnee Roby had 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four blocks.
Oak Creek did not help itself by hitting only 13 of 23 free throws for the game. Sophomore guard Maddie Gard and junior guard Kassandra Bartek had 12 points each for the Knights while junior forward Lea Finn added 9.
"We are disappointed," Hluchnimk said, "because we definitely believed we could win the game. The attitude and intensity were there. We just needed someone to go off for 18 to 20 points today, but we didn't have it. We played our butts off, but they (the Generals) did what they had to do."