Stick a fork it them, they’re done. The thought had to be going through a few minds Saturday in the semifinals of the North Shelby Tournament as the Scotland County girls were struggling through a horrid night of shooting that had allowed South Shelby to build a 35-22 lead early in the fourth period.
The Lady Birds looked poised to pull off the upset as the #1 seed SCR-I saw its championship aspirations slipping away as shot after shot clanked off the basket.
After the rim had been so unkind to the Lady Tigers for a two-period stretch, SCR-I finally caught a friendly bounce, as a three-pointer by Kylee Stott caromed high off the rim before falling back through.
The junior guard hit a pair of three-pointers to halt the 9-0 South Shelby run that threatened to blow the game open early in the final period.
Micah Cooley hit pair of free throws that cut the deficit to 35-30, but South Shelby answered with a three-pointer to push the margin back to eight.
Emiley Dial connected on a three-pointer for the Tigers that energized the sophomore forward and helped fuel a fourth quarter rally. After Cooley added a basket in the paint with 3:56 left to play, Dial made a pair of free throws off an offensive rebound and then drilled a three-pointer with 2:28 left in the game to pull SCR-I within two.
Following a defensive stop, Dial was ready to pull the trigger on another three-pointer but Coach Cory Shultz had signaled for a timeout.
The stoppage didn’t halt Dial’s heater, as she came out of the break and canned a step back three-pointer from the corner to give Scotland County its first lead of the second half at 43-42 with less than a minute to play. Katie Feeney added a free throw and Hannah Feeney then sealed the deal with a steal and a breakaway layup that made the final score 46-42.
Scotland County had jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the first period but managed just one field goal during a 10 minute stretch that saw South Shelby pull ahead 16-15 at the half. The Lady Birds led 26-22 heading into the fourth quarter.
Scotland County scored more points in the fourth quarter than it had combined for in the game’s first 24 minutes. Dial fueled the comeback scoring 11 of her 13 points in the fourth quarter. Cooley finished with 14 points to lead SCR-I in scoring. Stott added seven points including the two key three-pointers that started the fourth quarter rally.
Scotland County improved to 11-3 on the season and will advance to the championship game versus Schuyler County, which will played Saturday, February 1st.