December 1, 2005

Lady Tigers Open Season With 56-50 Victory Over Warsaw

The Scotland County Lady Tigers came charging out of the gates in the season opener Monday night, but it was a strong finish that secured a 56-50 victory over Warsaw on November 21st in Memphis.

All-state performer Ali Fromm started right where she left off last season. The senior scored Scotland County’s first 10 points as the Lady Tigers jumped out to a quick lead. Warsaw tightened up the defense and rallied to lead 11-10 to end the quarter.

Natalie Bertucci proved to be a force inside for the Wildcats. She scored seven points in the first period and continued to dominate the pain in period number two. Bertucci put up seven more points before halftime to send Warsaw to the locker room with a 23-22 lead.

Scotland County finally recaptured the lead for the first time since midway through the opening period when Angie Bulen made one of two free throws at the 3:43 mark to make the score 29-28.

The lead went back and forth in the third period with Warsaw holding a 34-32 advantage heading into the game’s final eight minutes.

The Lady Tigers opened the fourth period on a 10-0 run fueled by three pointers from Fromm and Jamie Fuller.

“We hit some big shots but it was really our defense that made the run possible,” said Coach Kelli Swearingen. “We scored the 10 points but at the same time our defense clamped down and shut them out.”

Bulen went to work on the offensive glass. She scored eight points in a crucial stretch that saw SCR-I take control of the game.

“The seniors really stepped up for us in the fourth quarter,” said Swearingen. “We showed a lot more patience and took good shots. In the first three quarters we were forcing it on offense, but we settled down and got the job done.”

The team almost settled down too much in the fourth period. After taking the 42-34 lead, SCR-I tried to use more clock and slow the game down. That resulted in several turnovers and let Warsaw back in the game.

“We stopped pushing the ball and got a little careless with our passing and they took advantage of the turnovers,” Swearingen said. “We went back to getting the ball up and down the court and that got us back on the roll.”

And roll the Lady Tigers did, scoring 24 points in the final period to post the victory. SCR-I secured the win with solid free throw shooting down the stretch. The Lady Tigers made seven of nine from the charity stripe in crunch time and finished the night 13 of 18 from the free throw line.

Fromm led Scotland County with 18 points. Bulen finished with 15 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds. Ashlee Frederick pitched in with eight points.

Bertucci finished with a game-high 20 points for Warsaw.

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