January 9, 2003

Lady Tigers Manage Win In Tough Start To Tourney

If it could go wrong, it did for the Scotland County Lady Tigers but in the end it didn't matter as SCR-I prevailed 38-35 over Highland in the opening round of the 31st Annual Highland Basketball Tournament January 6th.

The first half was simply ugly for the Lady Tigers. They got zero points from the team's leading scorer and saw Highland outrebound the team by a 24-6 margin.

Brandi Mallett opened the game with a basket in the paint on a nice assist from Meagan Fromm to make the score 2-0. It went downhill from there.

Fromm, the team's leading scorer, picked up two fouls in the first 90 seconds of the game and went to the bench for the rest of the first period.

Ali Fromm converted a three point play to tie the game at 5-5 before Highland went on a 5-0 run forcing an SCR-I timeout. The stoppage worked, initially anyway, as Amy Blomme drilled a three pointer to bring her team closer.

Highland answered to build a 14-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The next eight minutes appeared to spell doom for Scotland County. Meagan Fromm reentered the game but was quickly whistled for her third foul and was forced back to the bench with zero points in the first half.

SCR-I did not get on the board until Ali Fromm hit two of three free throws with less than two minutes left in the first half.

Valerie Crawford scored at the buzzer but it wasn't enough to keep the Lady Tigers from trailing 21-12 at halftime.

But in the third period Highland let the Lady Tigers back in the game. The Cougars tried to go to a stall offense to run the clock but it backfired. Highland scored just two points in the third period allowing SCR-I to pull within striking distance.

Mallett opened the third period with a basket inside. Ali Fromm then hit back-to-back baskets before Meagan Fromm got her only two points of the contest to make the score 23-20. The senior forward then went back to the bench with her fourth foul, midway through the period and neither team scored from that point on.

The teams traded baskets to start the fourth period before Jessie Cotton took over for SCR-I. With her team trailing by three points, the junior guard scored six straight points to give her team its first lead since the opening bucket of the contest.

Blomme gave the team some breathing room. She grabbed an offensive rebound on a missed free throw and dribbled out behind the arc where she nailed her second three pointer of the game to put SCR-I ahead 31-28.

Cotton then hit three of four free throws and SCR-I found itself ahead 34-28 with less than three minutes to play.

Highland pulled within three points with two minutes to play and began sending SCR-I to the free throw line. The strategy may have worked if it were not for the Tigers swarming defense. SCR-I made just four of 10 shots from the charity stripe down the stretch. However Highland never could get the lead below three points.

Ali Fromm led all scorers with 13 points. Cotton finished with nine points and Blomme added eight for the winning cause. SCR-I improves to 5-3 on the year and will take on Clark County in the second round of the tournament.

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