February 17, 2011

SCR-I Drops Key Conference Contest to Knox County

With the conference title on the line and special Courtwarming festivities whipping the crowd into a frenzy, Friday night was supposed to be a fairy tale for Scotland County. Foul trouble and a swarming Knox County defense made it more like a nightmare for the Lady Tigers, whose hopes for a league crown took a big hit with a 40-31 defeat.

The Eagles opened the game in a triangle-and-two defense. The gimmick proved very effective, with the Knox County man-to-man defense shutting out top scorers Ashley Tague and Skyler Alderton, while the remaining three defenders worked the triangle zone that held SCR-I to just two first quarter field goals.

Aimie Dale did her best to keep Scotland County in the game. The senior scored Scotland County's first eight points, and insured the Lady Tigers trailed just 10-8 early in the second period.

A jumper by Courtney Jackson was followed by a three pointer from Tague that knotted the score at 13-13 with 3:43 left in the first half.

But SCR-I was saddled with foul trouble much of the first half. Tague, Dale and Jamie Shaw all were forced to the bench with three fouls.

Sophomore Megan Creek picked up the slack, hitting-back-to-back shots to keep SCR-I within striking distance, trailing 19-17 at the intermission.

Shaw was whistled for her fourth foul at the start of the third period and the team seemed to unravel from there. Knox County went on a 7-0 run over the next five minutes as SCR-I could not buy a basket. Dale finally broke the scoring drought with a free throw at the 3:00 mark. The only other points of the quarter came on a three pointer by Hailey Dial that made the score 31-21 heading into the fourth period.

Scotland County mounted a rally to open the final quarter of play. Dial and Creek scored in the paint before Tague dropped in a pair of free throws to trim the Knox County lead to 32-27.

Stacey Leckbee drilled a huge three pointer to end the run and take the wind out of Scotland County's sails. SCR-I did not score again over the next four minutes before Creek put in a basket in the final seconds of the 40-31 loss.

Scotland County dropped to 15-6 on the year and 6-2 in the Tri Rivers Conference. Both TRC losses are to the Eagles. Dale led SCR-I with nine points and Creek finished with eight points.

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