The basketball Lady Jays came close in each game of the first tournament of the new year, but ultimately left without a win.

Washington (3-9) concluded the Lutheran South Tournament Saturday with a 61-56 loss against Herculanuem (6-5) in the final round.

Washington was led by freshman Elizabeth Reed, who had a breakout game with 20 points. She added three assists and three steals.

Washington was without starting forwards Gabby Lindemann and Allie Huddleston, giving Herculaneum an advantage inside that led to a 50-25 disparity in rebounding.

“Our kids really had to battle inside,” Washington Head Coach Doug Light said. “We also struggled against their press early on. After an early timeout, we seemed to get things straightened out. After several early turnovers, we took much better care of the ball.  . . . All our kids took care of the ball, committing only 10 turnovers against Herculaneum’s full-court pressure defense.”

Grace Landwehr recorded 12 points for the Lady Jays. She added two assists, one rebound and one steal.

Paige Robinson notched 10 points and one steal.

Olivia Reed scored six points with seven assists and five rebounds.

Joie Heien and Avery Street rounded out the scoring with four points apiece.

Street posted four rebounds. Heien had three steals, one rebound and one assist.

Ingrid Figas stepped up on the glass for Washington, grabbing a team high of 12 rebounds. She grabbed two steals and made two assists.

Taylor Brown added two rebounds and a steal.

Abi Waters stole one and blocked one.

Sara Heggemann made one steal.

“Our press caused Herculaneum lots of problems, forcing them into several turnovers, and speeding them up,” Light said. “The press kept us in the game. Statistically, we shot better than them, turned them over more than them and did a great job holding down their three-point shooter to zero makes.”

Herculaneum’s 76.9 percent free-throw shooting gave the Lady Cats the edge they needed.

“This game was lost at the free-throw line,” Light said. “They were 20-26 from the charity stripe, while we managed only 4-13.”

Paige Fowler led Herculaneum with a triple-double of 20 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists.

Washington held Fowler to less than half of her point total in her previous outing, a 45-point effort against Orchard Farm.

Macey Pillard also had a double-double for Herculaneum, scoring 15 points with 11 rebounds.

Krysten Britton was next for the Lady Cats with 11 points. Also scoring were Emily Wiese (six points), Madilyn Dearing (five), Emily Gruhala (two) and Madison Lawson (two).

The Lady Jays have this week off and return to the court for a home conference game Jan. 19 against Ft. Zumwalt East. That starts at 5:30 p.m.