January 25, 2007

Dominating Defense Helps Lady Tigers Corral Mustangs

Defense wins championships. Thatís a saying often heard around this time of year as the sports world focuses on the Super Bowl. The mantra had its place on the hardwood as well as defense definitely played a key roll in getting the Scotland County Lady Tigers to the championship game of the North Shelby Tourney.

The Lady Tigers upset top-seeded Marion County 46-43 in overtime behind a dominating defensive effort.

SCR-I lassoed the Mustangsí offense in the first half. Marion County was held scoreless for the first five minutes of the contest.

SCR-I faired little better, with the lone points of the game in that stretch coming on a layup by Kirsten Johnston. After a bucket by Trisha Harvet, Marion County pulled ahead 5-4.

That proved to be the lone lead of the first half. Melissa Cotton hit a free throw and Deidra Dochterman added a bucket to put SCR-I ahead 8-5 at the end of the first quarter.

Dochterman knocked down a three pointer to start the second period. Cheyenne Ward scored in the paint on an assist from Dochterman before a jumper by Cotton made it 15-8.

The lone highlight of the first half for Marion County came with just 2.8 seconds left when the Lady Mustangs converted a four point play to take some momentum into the locker room down just 15-12.

Marion County opened the third period with a 4-0 run to recapture the lead. But SCR-I would not go away. A three pointer by Cotton was sandwiched by a couple scores from Johnson to let Scotland County retake the lead.

The Mustangs returned the favor with a run of their own to knot the score at 24-24 heading into the final period.

Johnston scored six straight points for SCR-I to start the fourth period. A putback by Kaela Cook made it 32-28 with 3:49 to play. But the Mustangs rallied to pull ahead 33-32 with 2:41 remaining.

Jessica Bair brought the Lady Tigers back. After sitting out much of the first three periods in foul trouble, the junior scored in the paint to regain the lead and then erased a three-point deficit with a tough shot from behind the arc that knotted the score at 37-37 with just 39 ticks left on the clock.

Neither team could break the tie so the game went to overtime where SCR-I dominated.

Johnston and Bair got SCR-I off to a quick start with back-to-back scores. Bair put the game away with a bucket in the paint with 34.1 seconds as the Lady Tigers prevailed 46-43.

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