March 13, 2003

Lady Tigers Capture Their First District Title In School's History

Playing in the district title game obviously can make a team nervous. The pressure seemed to take its toll on Knox County early but the Eagles came back to create plenty of stress and anxiety for Scotland County in the title tilt March 8 in Memphis. However the Lady Tigers finally prevailed 40-37 for the school's first ever girls basketball district championship.

Early on it appeared as if SCR-I would cruise to the win. After Knox County scored on its opening possession, the Lady Tigers defense clamped down and allowed just one more point in the first quarter.

"I think Knox County came out a little tight," said Coach Andrea Dabney. "Well actually both teams came out a bit nervous, I think we just played through our nerves a little quicker and got into our sets and made the plays while Knox struggled at the start of the game."

If their nerves were bothering them it didn't show on offense. Meagan Fromm opened the game with a bucket in the paint. Ali Fromm and Amy Blomme hit short jumpers on the next two possessions to build a 6-2 lead.

After Brandi Mallett got into early foul trouble, senior Jennifer Crawford came off the bench to give her team a boost. She scored in the paint and then kept the offensive rebound alive on the next possession to allow Meagan Fromm to score the putback building a 10-3 SCR-I lead.

"Jennifer Crawford played very well for us tonight," Dabney said. "She had a great practice the day before so we were planning on using her size to offset Dobbs inside for Knox. We just had to go to her a little earlier than we planned because of the fouls and she stepped up for us tonight."

After a free throw by Crawford, the Fromm sisters each nailed a jumper on assists from Blomme. Ali hit the later, a buzzer-beater, to make the score 15-3 to close the first period.

The Fromms added two more buckets to start the second period as Scotland County led 19-3 and looked poised for a blowout.

But Knox County battled back at the free throw line, courtesy of a 10-2 foul advantage in the first half. A key part of the foul trouble came at the 3:13 mark when Meagan Fromm picked up her third personal foul sending her to the bench for the rest of the first half.

That left the door open for Knox County to cut into the deficit and trail 23-16 at the intermission.

The rollercoaster ride continued in the third period as Scotland County went back to work. Mallett scored on an offensive rebound and Ali Fromm hit a pair of free throws. The freshman scored on a drive to the bucket to extend Scotland County's lead to 30-20.

But with 3:38 left in the third period Meagan Fromm was forced to the bench with her fourth foul on a questionable call. Knox County took advantage of the absence of SCR-I's leading scorer, trimming the margin to 32-28.

Ali Fromm stepped into her older sisters shoes. She scored on a drive to the basket to end the fourth period with Scotland County ahead 34-29. Jessie Cotton had two big baskets during the key five-minute stretch and Rebecca Consbrock also helped fill the scoring void before Meagan Fromm re-entered the game with 4:48 left to play. The Lady Tigers had weathered the storm and still maintained a 37-31 lead.

"When Meagan went to the bench everybody else stepped up their play," Coach Dabney said. "Ali carried us for a while and the rest of the kids elevated their play to offset the loss."

Ali Fromm hit two free throws to make the score 39-31 with 3:58 left on the clock. Knox County made its run and with 2:30 left in the game the Eagles trailed by just four points.

Neither team could make a move over the next 90 seconds as the play got a little sloppy. Each team turned the ball over twice during the stretch.

SCR-I failed to convert a pair of free throw chances that would have added to the lead. That proved costly as Dobbs scored in the paint to make the score 39-37.

With 14 seconds left Cotton went to the line with a chance to seal the game. The junior guard, one of the top free throw shooters in the region at over 85 percent on the year, missed both free throws. But the Eagles hopes were dashed when Meagan Fromm came up with a huge offensive rebound and was fouled. The senior hit one of two free throws, leaving the Lady Eagles one final chance. Knox County got a good look at a three pointer to tie the contest but the shot rattled in and out and Meagan Fromm grabbed the rebound to close out the game.

Ali Fromm paced the SCR-I offense with 16 points as she picked up the scoring slack. Meagan Fromm was limited to 10 points but also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and contributed on defense with three blocked shots. Amy Blomme had just two points but the senior guard had a solid game, contributing five assists to go along with five steals.

Scotland County (15-12) advances to the state playoffs. The Lady Tigers will take on the #1 ranked team in the state in class 2, Clopton (24-1). The Pike County school is coming off a 85-36 victory in its district title game over Cairo. The two teams will square off at Hannibal High School Wednesday, March 12, at 8:15 p.m.

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