December 30, 2010

Monroe City Rallies in Second Half to Hand Lady Tigers Second Loss

Scotland County fans have to be hoping that the second half of the season will go better than the second half of the last few Lady Tigers games.

SCR-I headed into the Christmas break with a 42-38 loss to Monroe City on Monday on the campus of John Wood Community College in Quincy, IL, as part of the school's annual Rumble on the River basketball event.

As was the case in each of its nine games this season, Scotland County built a halftime lead, going into the intermission on top of the Panthers 21-17.

But the alarming trend continued for the Lady Tigers, who for the third straight contest, saw their lead evaporate down the stretch.

Scotland County actually fell behind early in Monday's contest. Monroe City jumped out to a 15-10 advantage despite first quarter three pointers from Skyler Alderton and Ashley Tague.

But the Lady Tigers turned the tables in the second quarter, going on an 11-2 run. The defense spurred the rally, holding Monroe City to a single field goal during the eight minute stretch.

Aimee Dale provided a spark off the bench. She scored six points during the run that also featured a three pointer by Cali Holt that put Scotland County on top by four points at the break.

Monroe City made up for the slow close to the first half, with a fast start to the third period. The Panthers put on a 7-2 run to take a 24-23 lead. Field goals by Jamie Shaw and Dale weren't enough to prevent Monroe City from pushing out to a 34-28 lead.

The Panthers hounded Scotland County's ball handlers, forcing SCR-I to extend its offense and wreaking havoc on the Lady Tigers efforts to pound the ball inside to Shaw and Dale.

Monroe City grew the lead eight points with just four minutes left to play. That's when Alderton went to work. The senior guard hit back-to-back three pointers to cut the deficit to 38-36 with 3:15 to play.

After making the score 40-36, Monroe City began to burn time off the clock in a semi-stall, taking advantage of a low team foul total for SCR-I. The Lady Tigers had to force several whistles to finally put the Panthers in the bonus and force free throws.

SCR-I got the ball back after a miss from the stripe and quickly converted on the other end as Shaw scored in the paint to make it 40-38.

Another Monroe City miss at the free throw line gave SCR-I a chance to tie, and the Lady Tigers got the look they wanted when the hot handed Alderton got an open three point attempt from the corner. But the shot would not fall for SCR-I.

Monroe City finally tacked on a pair of free throws in the final 30 seconds to secure the 42-38 win.

Alderton and Dale each finished with nine points to lead Scotland County (7-2) in scoring. Shaw finished with eight points and Tague added seven.

Monroe City (7-1) was led in scoring by Olivia Crager with 13 points.

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