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By: Corey Stott
MEMPHIS, Mo.- 2/20/21- The 2021 Scotland County Lady Tigers (18-5) had many goals for this season. Saturday evening, they checked off one of the bigger ones: Lewis and Clark Conference Champions. And they did it in style, with an undefeated conference record. Coach Wade Billington’s Salisbury Lady Panthers (14-6) came to town to do everything they could to keep that from happening. But ultimately, the Lady Tigers were the irresistible force that would not be stopped, and they emerged with the 54-29 victory.
“Sealing a piece of it (Friday) night (against Knox) helped us a little bit, but they weren’t alright with just having a part of it,” said a smiling coach Cory Shultz. “So they came out and really locked in. Defensively we were just pretty danged salty.”
Scotland County put the pedal to the metal early on, accelerating to an 8-0 lead at the 4:15 mark of the first quarter. Salisbury didn’t get on the board until 3:11 to play in the period. It was very obvious from the outset that the Scotland County ladies were forcing Salisbury to play much faster than they were comfortable with, and that led to multiple transition opportunities. When the dust settled at the end of the first quarter, Scotland County led 14-7.
Not only was Scotland County getting transition points off their defense, but they were getting very active play around the rim from Alaynna Whitaker. She cleaned the boards and became a force in the paint offensively. The Lady Tigers held serve, outscoring Salisbury 11-10 in the second quarter to take a 25-17 lead to half time.
The third quarter saw the Lady Tigers really open this game up, through a combination of shots in the paint and a shut-down defensive effort. The Lady Panthers were held to just four points in the period, while Scotland County put up 15 of their own to take a 40-21 lead and put the game out of reach.
The fourth quarter saw things begin to get chippy, but the Lady Tigers kept their composure and again outscored Salisbury 14-8 to secure the 54-29 victory. The win gave the Scotland County ladies sole possession of the Lewis and Clark Conference basketball championship for 2021.
“We had three pretty good wins and one loss this past week going into districts,” Shultz observed. “Now we have a conference title. So we’ve had a pretty good week.”
Hannah Feeney led all scorers with 21 points. Whitaker scored 10 points. Emiley Dial and Abby Doster contributed 6 points apiece, Morgan Blessing put up 5 points and Kylee Stott chipped in a pair of points. Emersyn Hammons and Khloe Wyatt led the Salisbury scoring effort with 8 points apiece.
The Lady Tigers are the #2 seed in Class 2 District 6 and will have a first-round bye. They will host the winner of the 3) Canton vs 6) Paris game. The game will be at Scotland County on Thursday at 6 pm.