February 19, 2004

SCR-I Girls Take First Step Up In League Standings

The Scotland County girls basketball team took the first step in a crucial three game series last week by knocking off Milan 55-49 for the team’s first conference win of the year.

After facing arguably the two toughest teams in the league the previous week, SCR-I was scheduled to play Milan, North Shelby and Knox County in a period of four days that would play a key in sorting out the league standings.

Ali Fromm did a little bit of everything to get the Lady Tigers off to a good start. She scored on the fast break, on an offensive rebound, from the free throw line, and even from half court as she banked in a three pointer at the buzzer to give her team a 19-12 lead after one period of play.

Scotland County continued rolling to start the second period as they concluded a 15-0 run with baskets by Angie Bulen, Fromm and Jamie Fuller that made the score 25-12.

The Wildcats did not fold. Jessica Taylor got rolling on offense for Milan and brought her team back to within 28-24.

Bulen gave SCR-I some breathing room with back-to-back buckets before Jessie Cotton made a free throw to make the score 33-26 at the intermission.

A quick start to the third period saw Scotland County’s lead swell to double figures as Ashlee Frederick, Valerie Crawford and Brandi Mallett each converted a basket to make the score 39-28.

But once again Milan responded and whittled away at the deficit, getting to within two scores of the lead. Cotton and Brittney Courtright drilled jumpers on the next two SCR-I possessions to rebuild a 43-35 advantage.

Milan simply would not go away. The Wildcats made another charge, cutting the margin to 45-42 midway through the fourth period.

Scotland County looked like it had the game put away when Cotton made a steal and went coast-to-coast. Seconds later Courtright hit a jumper before Fromm scored on a long pass off the press breaker to put SCR-I on top 51-43 with 1:49 to play.

“We are having a lot of trouble closing games out,” stated Coach Kelli Swearingen. “We get the lead and then we play not to lose instead of closing out the win. That’s part of being a young team.”

The Lady Tigers then began to struggle against the Milan press and three straight turnovers left the door open for Milan. But four points was as close as the visiting team would get as Cotton and Fromm both hit two clutch free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.

Scotland County improved to 9-10 on the year and 1-2 in league play. Milan dropped to 7-11 and 2-2 in the conference.

Fromm led all scorers with 17 points. Cotton chimed in with 14 points and Bulen finished the evening with eight points off the bench.

“Angie Bulen and Jamie Fuller came in off the bench and made some big plays for us tonight,” said Swearingen. “We are a very deep team, so if someone is having a down night we can bring somebody else in off the bench to help us get it done.”

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