January 31, 2002

Conference Opener Eludes Lady Tigers In 52-43 Overtime Loss To Raiders

Could have, would have, should have, that's what the Scotland County Lady Tigers were thinking after the girls saw their Tri-Rivers Conference season opener slip away in overtime as North Shelby escaped from Memphis January 22 with a 52-43 overtime victory.

SCR-I could have knocked off one of the conference's top teams and would have instantly jumped into contention for the league title. And if you ask Coach Andrea Dabney the team should have done just that as she knows her team let one slip away in the fourth period.

"We had them down in the fourth quarter but we missed several key free throws," she said. "Then with less than two minutes to play we still had a four point lead but a couple costly turnovers let them tie it up."

Despite the five missed free throws in the fourth period, the team still had a chance to win the game in regulation. With 13 seconds remaining SCR-I brought the ball down and Meagan Fromm took it to the basket. She ran into plenty of resistance at the free throw line where she was tied up. Neither a foul nor a jump ball was called and time ran out on the fourth period.

The two teams played to an 8-8 tie in the first period with strong defensive performances. North Shelby looked poised to blow the game open in the second period with a 13-7 run to take a 21-15 lead at the intermission.

But the Lady Tigers clamped down on defense in the third period. Fromm poured in a three pointer on her way to seven points in the quarter and Valerie Crawford came off the bench to give the team a needed offensive spark with four points. That put SCR-I ahead 28-27 to finish the third quarter.

The fourth period was all Scotland County early on. Amy Blomme drilled a three pointer while Fromm nailed a couple buckets and Crawford added another score. But North Shelby rallied to pull within four points. Scotland County converted just six of 11 free throws down the stretch allowing the Raiders to rally for the tie.

The overtime was all North Shelby. SCR-I missed two free throws to start the extended play and then fell victim to back-to-back defensive lapses on the press giving the Raiders two easy scores. Jessie Bertoni put up three quick baskets for North Shelby in overtime. From that point on SCR-I was forced to foul on defense. The Raiders made just three of eight free throws but the Lady Tigers could not buy a basket, going scoreless in overtime. North Shelby finished on a 9-0 run to win the game 52-43.

North Shelby's Jordon Rodgers led all scorers with 16 points. Fromm topped Scotland County with 15 points, a number matched by Bertoni for the Raiders. Blomme finished with 12 points for SCR-I while Crawford added a season-high nine points.

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