Ask any of Scotland County’s regular season opponents who played the best defense they saw all year, and the answer likely would have been the Lady Tigers. None of those teams had Skyline on their schedule.
Unfortunately for SCR-I, their path to a state championship had to cross with the #1 team in the state in the Missouri Class 2 state semifinals at Hearnes Center on the campus of the University of Missouri on Thursday, March 9th. The Tigers from Urbana, MO unleashed an unbelievable defensive performance to top SCR-I 46-22.
“They are really, really, really good,” said Abi Feeney after the game. “That was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, trying to bring the ball up the court against that type of pressure.”
Skyline forced 26 SCR-I turnovers, helping produce a nearly two to one advantage on the number of shots in the contest, with Skyline attempting 46 field goals to just 25 for the Lady Tigers. Scotland County proved it was no slouch on defense, holding Skyline to its second lowest scoring output of the year, while limiting their fellow Tigers to just 37% shooting on the night.
SCR-I could had little go its way early on, but still trailed just 4-2 three minutes into the game on free throws by Ashleigh Creek and Abi Feeney. Chelsea Wood scored in the paint on an assist by Feeney, knotting the score at 4-4 with 5:14 left in the opening period.
Skyline pulled ahead 8-4 before Feeney grabbed an offensive rebound and connected on a jumper to pull SCR-I within two. But that was as close as the Lady Tigers would get.
The senior point guard was forced to the bench with two early fouls, and Skyline went on a 5-0 run before Wood sank a jumper with 0:41 left in the period. Kaylee DaMitz beat the buzzer with a three-pointer to extend Skyline’s advantage to 16-8.
Skyline scored off a turnover to start the second period before Feeney drilled a three-pointer to trim the deficit to 18-11 with 7:02 left in the second period.
Wood scored in the paint with 4:11 left in the first half and then the two teams locked down on defense, producing nearly three-minutes of scoreless basketball before McKinsey Mountain ended the drought with a jumper with 1:31 left to play to make the score 25-13.
Feeney sank a jumper with 0:16 left to pull within 10 but DaMitz delivered another dagger, sinking a three-pointer at the buzzer to make the halftime score 28-15.
Wood scored on a jumper to start the second half, but that proved to be the lone points of the third period for Scotland County. Feeney was whistled for two quick fouls, forcing her to the bench with four, the same number of fouls whistled on the entire Skyline team to that points (just six fouls were whistled against Skyline in the entire game).
Skyline closed the third period with a 10-0 run to extend the margin to 40-17.
The deficit grew to 44-17 before Calesse Bair connected on a jumper with 6:08 left to play. The Lady Tigers’ leading scorer had been held without a field goal attempt in the first half.
Maddie Brassfield sank a three-pointer with 3:05 left in the contest for what proved to be the final points of the night as Skyline ran out the rest of the clock on the 46-22 win.
Feeney and Wood each finished with eight points to lead Scotland County, which fell to 27-2 on the season. DaMint led Skyline (30-2) with 20 points.
“Coach Shultz told us there are just two teams that are going to go out on a winning note,” said Wood following the game. “We still have a chance to do that, but in order to win tomorrow we are going to have to put this one behind us and focus on Oran.”