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By: Corey Stott
UNIONVILLE, Mo.- 12/11/20- It was nearly one week to the day that the Scotland County Lady Tigers (3-1) had taken the Putnam County Lady Midgets (2-3) to the woodshed en route to a third-place finish in the Tri-Rivers Classic. Friday night, the Putnam County ladies had to be experiencing déjà vu as the Lady Tigers cruised to victory in Unionville. Even the 59-28 final score was nearly identical to the 67-29 score of the previous matchup.
It was also the same suffocating defense from a week ago. The Lady Tigers held Putnam County to only 28 points from five scorers, with no Lady Midget scoring double digits. “I thought we played really well,” mused head coach Cory Shultz. “Defensively, that’s something we didn’t think we did very well the last couple of outings. We put an emphasis on that and I think we did a much better job tonight.”
Indeed, they did. It took over two minutes for Putnam County to score their first basket. Nearly halfway through the first quarter, it was 5-2 Scotland County. Abby Curry set the tone in the first quarter for Scotland County. She attacked the rim and led the way with five of the team’s nine first quarter points. Scotland won the first quarter 9-6.
After the slow start in the first period, the Lady Tigers seemed to finally find their groove. Asked if his team had to shake a little rust off at the start of the game, Shultz agreed that he believed that to be the case. In terms of getting up to full speed, he said “I think we’re getting a little closer to normal.”
The defensive pressure took its toll, and Scotland County outscored Putnam County 21-3 in the second quarter, with six players getting in on the balanced scoring attack. The Lady Tigers took a 30-9 lead to the locker room at the half.
Scotland County picked up right where they left off to start the second half, and nearly two minutes into the third quarter, the Lady Midgets had yet to score a second half bucket. The relentless defensive pressure along with 11 third quarter points by senior Kylee Stott pushed the Lady Tigers to a 49-17 lead by the end of the period, which meant that there would be a continuous running clock in the fourth.
With the contest well in hand, Coach Shultz used the fourth quarter as an opportunity to give his younger players some valuable varsity experience. Putnam County outscored Scotland County 11-10 in the fourth, led by Claire Tipton’s six points. The Lady Tigers walked off the court with a 59-28 victory.
“I thought we played really well,” Shultz observed. “We’ve still got a little bit offensively that I think we can still be better at. We know what we’re supposed to do, we just haven’t got the timing yet. After we get a few more games under our belt, I think we’ll really be clicking.”
Scotland County’s Stott led all scorers with 13 points. She had four baskets and went three of six from the free throw line. Alaynna Whitaker had 10 points on five baskets. Emiley Dial scored eight points Hannah Feeney and Morgan Blessing had six points apiece, and Curry had five points. Kilee Bradley-Robinson and Abby Doster each had four points.