March 11, 2010

Cairo Captures Championship With Second Half Run Past SCR-I

Heading into Saturday night’s district championship, the Scotland County Tigers were facing a tall task to try and topple top seeded Cairo, literally. Northeast Randolph County R-IV (Cairo) towered over SCR-I with a pair of six footers in the paint but it was a third Wild ‘Cat that stood tall from the perimeter to push Cairo to the district title with a 49-36 win.

Courtney Cooley, the third member of the Lady ‘Cats forward crew, hit two key three pointers in the third period that helped Cairo pull away from third seeded Scotland County down the stretch.

The Lady Tigers whipped the home crowd into a frenzy in Memphis in the first half. Skyler Alderton hit a pair of three pointers in the first quarter that helped the Lady Tigers keep the score tied at 8-8 after one period of play.

Cali Holt is fouled by Cairo’s Daris King as she goes up for two points.

Scotland County did a good job defensively, keeping the ball out of the hands of point guard Hanah Wehar, which slowed Cairo’s offense. The Lady Tigers held Daris King scoreless in the first period after the Cairo post player had poured in 32 points two nights earlier against Milan.

But the defensive pressure took its toll on SCR-I, which found itself saddled with early foul trouble that put starters Cali Holt and Jamie Shaw on the bench with two early fouls whistled on each key player for the home team.

Scotland County’s bench stepped up in their absence. Aimee Dale and Kiley Frazier each had crucial field goals in the second period to give Scotland County the lead in a back-and-forth second quarter.

SCR-I went on top 13-12 on a bucket by Anna Duley. Ashley Tague completed a three point play with 3:40 on the clock to make the lead 16-14 before Dale scored in the paint to put the Lady Tigers on top by four points.

But after Frazier connected on a short jumper, Cairo hit back-to-back field goals, with the final points coming on a buzzer-beater by Cooley that allowed Cairo to take a 22-20 advantage into the locker room.

The third quarter was the difference in the contest. Shaw and Tague continued to battle foul problems, with Tague getting whistled for number four with 3:46 to go in the third period. Cairo took advantage of their absence, opening the period with a 6-0 run before Tague and Dale converted field goals. But after Tague went to the bench with number four, Cairo went on a 7-0 run fueled by Cooley’s perimeter shooting forcing an SCR-I timeout with 1:29 left in the quarter and the score now 35-24.

Tague returned to knock down a three pointer but Cairo’s height, and length gave SCR-I fits on defense, making it difficult to find spacing for shot opportunities. Cairo led 41-27 heading into the fourth quarter.

SCR-I made one final run. Holt made a steal on defense and converted a three-point play on the fast break. Shaw hit a jumper from the free throw line on the next possession to cut the deficit to 45-36, but that was as close as the home team could get as Cairo held on for the 49-36 win to claim the district championship.

Tague finished with 12 points for Scotland County, which finished the year at 14-8 and the consolation of knowing it will bring back every player in 2010-11. Alderton finished with nine points. Cooley led Cairo (16-6) with 20 points and King had 12 points. The Lady ‘Cats advanced to take on District #13 champs Harrisburg (27-0) at 6:00 p.m. on March 10 in Moberly.

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