January 10, 2008

Cougars Crush Lady Tigers in Tourney Opener

An aggressive press combined with early foul trouble handcuffed Scotland County in the second period of the Lady Tigers opener at the Highland Tournament on New Yearís Eve.

SCR-I jumped out to an early lead against the host squad in the first round game. Valerie Oldham scored in the paint and Melissa Cotton converted on the fast break before Kirsten Johnstonís bucket made it 6-5 in favor of the Lady Tigers. Highland answered with a 6-0 run before Jessica Bair scored on an offensive rebound at the buzzer to cut the deficit to 11-8.

Kaitlin Caldwell opened the second period with a basket inside. Betsey Kittle and Cotton hit back-to-back jumpers to end a 7-0 run by Highland and make the score 22-14.

But with Bair and Oldham on the bench with two fouls, Highland expanded the margin to 30-16 by the intermission.

Neither team lit it up offensively in the third period. Caldwellís basket in the paint with 6:09 on the clock was the first points of the period. SCR-I got free throws from Caldwell and Kelsey Frazier before Cotton hit the final tally of the third period to make the score 39-22 with 1:26 to play in the third quarter.

Highland outscored the Lady Tigers 11-0 in the final eight minutes to seal the 50-22 victory.

Cotton finished with eight points to lead Scotland County (3-4). Caldwell finished with five points.

Highland (5-3) was led in scoring by Sam Murfin with 11 points and Chelsea Brennan with 10.

The loss dropped SCR-I into the consolation side of the bracket where the Lady Tigers received a bye into the consolation finals game.

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