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By: Corey Stott
EWING, Mo.- 12/14/20- Coach Cory Shultz and his Scotland County Lady Tigers (4-1) embarked upon their second true road trip of the season when they traveled to Highland to face the Lady Cougars (2-2) of Coach Ashton Jaco. The Lady Cougars held their own in the first half and led 24-20 at the intermission, but the Lady Tigers cranked up the defensive pressure in the third quarter and never looked back on their way to a 52-36 victory.
Highland outscored Scotland County 13-10 in the first quarter, led by Ansley Bringer and Meleah Eisenberg. Play was choppy, with plenty of turnovers to go around. The first period also saw Coach Jaco hit with an early technical foul. But the Highland ladies seemed to be in the driver’s seat.
Highland again outscored Scotland County 11-10 in the second quarter enroute to a 24-20 halftime lead. However, one could detect a subtle change in the tide, as Kylee Stott picked up six of her points on the way to a 16-point evening.
“That first half was rough,” Shultz said. “We couldn’t buy a bucket and defensively we were awful. Our rotations were bad and we got beat over the top on the press too many times.” Shultz said his halftime message was simple. “Get better!” He added, “I told them they needed to bring the energy and be ready to go in the second half. I think we did that.”
The Lady Tigers did indeed bring the energy in the second half. They used a smothering full court pressure to limit the Lady Cougars to only four third quarter points while putting up 17 of their own.
“Stott came up big for us tonight,” Shultz said. “I told the girls in that first time-out of the half that ‘You’ve gotta match her’, and they did. A couple of the girls stepped up, we hit that shot in the corner, and after that we were just rolling. They did a really good job in the second half.”
Scotland County kept their foot on the gas and again outscored Highland 15-8 in the fourth quarter. The Lady Tigers improved their record with a 52-36 final score.
A few of the Lady Tigers were in early foul trouble, including Hannah Feeney. Asked after the game about leaving those players in and their ability to play without getting in further foul trouble, Shultz said “They did a good job of being smart and working hard. If you’ve watched us at all, you know our offense doesn’t look real good when (Feeney’s) not on the floor. Her being able to play with three fouls the entire second half is pretty impressive.”
Stott led all scorers with 16. She connected on four field goals, a three-pointer and went five of seven from the free throw line. Feeney had 10 points on the night with three baskets and a perfect four of four from the line. Bringer led the Lady Cougars with 15 points on six buckets and three points from the charity stripe.