January 3, 2002
Norton's Basket With 0:09 To Play Gives SCR-I 51-50 Win
The Scotland County Lady Tigers looked like they still might be on Christmas vacation as they opened the first round of the Highland Tourney in slow fashion. The Lady Tigers first round opponent, Knox County built a 16-7 lead to end the first period courtesy of an 11-0 run to close the quarter.
Meagan Fromm started SCR-I off strong with a pair of baskets. A three pointer by Amy Blomme gave the Lady Tigers a 7-4 lead before Knox County took charge. The Eagles full court press caused SCR-I some problems as the turnover totals mounted.
Fromm put her team on her back and nearly single handedly brought Scotland County back to life. After the junior post player hit a pair of free throws she then found Sara Norton with a nice pass for a score inside. Fromm then nailed two more free throws before scoring a driving bucket. Her three pointer brought SCR-I within two before Norton brought the run full circle with a score on an offensive rebound to tie the game at 20-20. Jessie Cotton gave Scotland County the lead as she hit a jumper from the top of the arc to end the first half with SCR-I on top 22-20.
Cotton got the Lady Tigers off to a good start in the third period with a steal and a lay-up. A three pointer by Fromm made the score 27-22 and forced a Knox County time out. The stoppage worked as Knox County battled back to tie the game and force a time out by the Lady Tigers. That reversed the momentum as Blomme drilled a three pointer to retake the lead.
Scotland County maintained a five-point lead as Brandi Mallett and Brenna Cook hit jumpers. Blomme scored inside when Norton dove out of bounds and saved the ball into the junior guard on a nice hustle play. After Norton scored in the paint the Eagles hit back-to-back buckets to trim the margin to 38-35 to end the third period.
The Eagles opened the fourth period with four points to send the teeter-totter lead back in favor of Knox County. The advantage went back to SCR-I when Cotton broke the press and hit Norton for the lay-up. Norton then scored in the paint on the next possession.
Cotton kept up the defensive pressure and came up with another steal. She beat the defender to the hoop but missed the shot. However Fromm was there to clean up the miss. Cotton picked the pocket of the Knox County point guard one more time and went in for the lay-up to make the score 46-42.
With 2:41 left in the game Knox County had responded to tie the game at 46-46. The Lady Tigers looked poised to pull away as Cotton hit two free throws before Fromm hit one of two to give Scotland County a 49-46 advantage with 51 seconds left to play.
The Eagles got within two points and then took advantage of a pair of misses from the free throw line by SCR-I when Tracy King nailed a three pointer to put Knox County ahead 50-49 with 27 ticks left on the clock.
Everyone in the gym knew that Fromm would have the ball in her hands to try to hit the last shot for SCR-I. She did just that as she took the Knox County double team to the hoop. The shot rolled off the rim but Norton finalized a big game when she grabbed the offensive rebound and scored with just nine seconds to play to give Scotland County the 51-50 victory.
Fromm led Scotland County with 19 points. Norton had 12 big points while Cotton and Blomme both pitched in with eight points. The Lady Tigers improve to 4-3 on the season and earned the right to face #1 seeded Clark County in the tourney semi-finals Wednesday, January 2 at 7:30 p.m. They will then play either in the championship game at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, January 5 or in the third place game at 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 4.