December 16, 2004

‘Blue Socks’ Beat Putnam County To Advance To Championship Game

Michael Jordan’s famous sidekick always gave credit to the NBA star’s shoes. If the winning ways continue for the Scotland County Lady Tigers, their fans may start pointing to “The Socks.”

SCR-I busted out the new knee-high blue socks for game two of the Putnam County Tourney. It was a change from the norm, as the Lady Tigers had only been wearing the new accessories with the road black uniforms. But on Wednesday night, despite playing the host team of the tourney, SCR-I was the home team on the bracket.

That didn’t stop SCR-I from donning the lucky footwear. “The socks” helped Scotland County knock off the Midgets 57-49 to advance to the championship game.

“The girls came to me before the game with the idea of wearing the socks,” said Coach Kelli Swearingen. “I figured, if it gives them a boost of confidence, why not?”

The blue-socked Lady Tigers jumped out to a 6-0 advantage in the game’s opening minute behind a pair of buckets from Valerie Crawford. That forced a quick Putnam County time out.

The Lady Midgets rallied and pulled to within 11-9 to close the quarter.

Back-to-back three pointers by the injured Brook Schultz put Putnam County on top 16-14 early in the second period.

After Angie Bulen scored on an offensive rebound, SCR-I retook the lead for good on a three pointer by Ali Fromm. The junior guard followed that up by scoring on an offensive rebound. Her second three pointer of the rally made it 26-19 heading into halftime.

Crawford canned a three pointer to start the third period. The senior forward distributed a pair of assists on the following possessions as Fromm and Brittney Courtright scored on easy looks inside courtesy of the nice passes.

Jamie Fuller drilled a three pointer at the buzzer to put SCR-I on top 42-32 heading into the final period.

The Lady Tigers were poised to break the game wide open. Crawford again started a quarter with a three pointer. Courtright and Crawford both added buckets in the paint before Fromm stole a Midgets pass and went coast to coast for the score. That forced a Putnam County timeout, trailing 51-38 with 5:47 left to play.

But Putnam County would not go quietly. The Midgets hit a trio of three pointers in the waning minutes and pulled within 53-49 with 1:52 left in the game.

SCR-I was able to run down the clock, as Putnam County had just two team fouls and wasted much of the clock fouling, trying to send SCR-I to the free-throw line.

But instead SCR-I closed out the game with a couple of easy baskets, beating the Midgets’ pressure. Courtright and Fromm scored on breakaways to make the final margin 57-49.

Fromm led the Lady Tigers on the night with 25 points despite facing special defensive pressure all night.

“This was the first time they have played us in a box-and-one, manning up on her,” Swearingen said. “She handled it well. Really, we handled it very well as a team, as the other girls took the open shots and still found Ali when she was open.”

Crawford finished the game with 12 points despite battling foul trouble. Brittney Courtright pitched in eight points despite similar problems.

“We had two girls in foul trouble, but our team is balanced so the other girls picked them up,” Swearingen said. “Angie Bulen gave us some good minutes tonight and had some big rebounds.”

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