After over a month of preparation for the girls basketball season, Washington finally opened its season Monday with a home loss to New Haven.

The Lady Shamrocks, playing for the fifth time this season, emerged with a 40-32 win over the Lady Jays.

“We didn’t play that well. Both teams were sloppy. We shot enough free throws to win the game,” said New Haven Head Coach Doug Peirick. “We made too many silly, unforced turnovers. Sometimes games like that happen. Hopefully this will be our last one.”

New Haven (4-1) held a huge advantage from the free-throw line, going 20-30. Washington was 0-2.

“It’s our own fault that we didn’t get to the free-throw line. When you get half of your points from the free-throw line like New Haven did, that’s what coaches want,” said Washington Head Coach Adam Fischer. “We didn’t do a good enough job taking the ball to the hole. We didn’t put pressure on the basket and get to the free-throw line.”

Turnovers also hurt the Lady Jays.

“We were prepared to play. We had a lot of decent shots, but just didn’t score,” Fischer said. “Turnovers didn’t help, either. We probably had close to 20.”

Rachel Steinhoff, New Haven’s junior guard, led all scorers in the game with 17 points.

Kayla Meyer added nine points. Emily Kallmeyer scored eight points. Stephanie Gerling and Kierstin Monzyk both had three points.

Megan Shockley, Meghan Brown, Olivia Fleer and Stephanie Scheer also played.

“We kept our composure pretty well and were able to hold on to our lead. Steinhoff and Kallmeyer helped us stay calm out there,” Peirick said. “Defensively, we wanted to keep them in front of us and not let them drive to the basket. We did a good job executing that. We did OK on the boards.”

Courtney Kedroski led Washington with 15 points.

“Courtney played hard. We still want her to be more aggressive. Steinhoff did a good job defending her,” Fischer said. “Courtney is a good athlete. Her time will come.”

Kaitlin Evans added six points. Megan Bauche finished with three points. Paige Carpenter, Rachel Kackley, Helena Ballmann and Kirstie Leslie each scored two points.

Alex Ready, Megan Freitag and Hannah Leslie also played.

Trailing 8-7 after one quarter, New Haven held leads of 19-17 at halftime and 28-21 after three quarters.

The Lady Shamrocks led by as many as 12 points in the fourth quarter.

“We’re a young team. Kierstin Monzyk is our only senior. There’s a lot of room to improve,” Peirick said. “In the end, we hope to get to the same place we got last year (Class 2 runner-up).”

The Lady Jays (0-1) look for improvement as they dive into their season.

“Our girls gave a great effort on the floor. We missed a lot shots that will go down for us in most games,” Fischer said. “We have our first game under our belt and now we can work on the things that we need to improve.”