Tell Lance Campbell his team was going to shoot 39 free throws and the SCR-I coach would have to be pleased. Sour that news with the fact they would make less than 39% on that same volume of shots from the charity stripe and he likely would cringe. But any coach will tell you a win is a win, even if it is cringe-worthy.
Despite making just 15 of 39 free throws, SCR-I sank just enough to rally for a 58-51 victory over La Plata.
SCR-I pulled away from the Bulldogs late as the guests saw three starters foul out, limiting La Plata’s chances to come back.
Early on it was SCR-I in need of the rally. After Sturgis Knupp scored on a rebound and added a three-point play on the fast break, SCR-I went cold, managing just two field goals in the final seven minutes of the opening frame. That saw a 5-2 lead turn into a 17-9 deficit.
It didn’t get much better in the second quarter. A fast break score by Elijah Cooley at the 4:27 mark was the first ball SCR-I got through the hoop. Lane Pence scored on a drive to the basket at the 2:01 mark to trim the Bulldogs lead to 24-13. SCR-I missed eight straight free throws before Zach Doubet converted a three-point play to make the score 27-17 at half.
The change of ends helped Scotland County’s offense, as the basket was much kinder.
La Plata opened a 31-17 lead before Aaron Buford sank a three pointer. Knupp ended a 5-0 La Plata run with a driving score that left SCR-I down 36-22 with 4:34 left in the third period.
Gage Dodge drilled a three-pointer before Buford scored in the paint. Will Fromm gave the team a spark off the bench with four straight points to end a 9-0 Tigers’ run. A three-point play by Knupp made it a four-point game, but the Tigers missed a pair of late free throws that allowed the Bulldogs to cling to a 40-37 lead heading into the fourth period.
Despite their free throw woes, SCR-I continued to attack the rim in the fourth period. Dodge scored on a nice back-door cut on the pass from Buford. Knupp scored in the paint to tie the game and with 5:49 left to play gave his team it’s first lead since the opening minute with a free throw to make it 43-42.
Dodge followed with a three pointer before Buford converted a three-point play. Caleb Doubet sank a short jumper on a nice pass by Buford to push the lead to 51-47 with 3:35 left to play.
Zach Doubet had a key offensive rebound after a pair of missed free throws and Buford again found a wide open Caleb Doubet for an easy bucket to push the margin to 53-47 with 1:40 left in the game.
SCR-I made things interesting, making just five of 10 free throws down the stretch but it was enough to secure the 58-51 victory.
Knupp led Scotland County in scoring with 17 points. Buford finished with 15 points and Dodge added nine as Scotland County improved to 7-3 on the season and avenged an earlier loss to La Plata.