Any shot at a fourth quarter rally clanged away Saturday night in the championship game of the Novinger Tournament, as Scotland County struggled through a brutal eight minutes of foul shooting that allowed Milan to march away with a 64-42 win.
The Tigers made just 4 of 15 foul shots in the fourth period as Milan maintained a double-digit lead the final three periods of a whistle-filled contest.
SCR-I fell behind 16-9 in the first period as Milan’s three-quarter court trap wreaked havoc in the passing lanes, making it a difficult task for SCR-I simply to advance the ball past midcourt.
Eight different Wildcats got into the scorebook in the first period as former SCR-I coach Andrea Dabney used her team’s depth to keep the pressure on SCR-I.
The Tigers were saddled with foul trouble most of the contest, with leading scorers Will Fromm and Lane Pence forced to the bench early in the first half.
That allowed Milan to extend the lead to 22-9 early in the second quarter before Brett Monroe ended an 8-0 Milan run with a three point lead. Stephen Terrill and Matthew Woods added baskets in the paint, but Milan went on to a 28-18 halftime lead.
Fromm and Pence both connected on three-pointers as Scotland County tried to rally in the third period. But Eddie Gonzalez answered, scoring eight of his game-high 20 points in the quarter to help Milan extend the margin to 43-30.
SCR-I continued to battle foul trouble in the second half as three starters finished with four fouls, and sub Parker Triplett fouled out.
That helped Milan put the game away from the free throw line. The Wildcats made 8 of 10 from the foul line in the final eight minutes to contrast SCR-I’s shooting woes from the charity stripe.
Fromm finished with 14 points to lead Scotland County in scoring. Terrill had a season-high nine points while Pence was held to seven. Scotland County dropped to 2-1 on the season.