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By: Corey Stott
MEMPHIS, Mo.- 1/25/22- After facing a meat-grinder of a schedule versus teams such as Class 2 #4 Westran, #8 Harrisburg and #10 Cairo, the Scotland County Tigers (5-10, 1-2) got a chance to play a team that they matched up with very well in the Schuyler County Rams (8-9, 2-2).
The Tigers controlled the opening tip and got on the board immediately with a Kabe Hamlin shot in the paint. The Noah Newland had a 3-point answer for the Rams and the first quarter featured five lead changes or ties before seeing the Rams lead 13-12 at the end of the period.
Hamlin got the Tigers back in the lead with a jump shot in the paint in the first possession of the second quarter to lead 14-13. The Rams tied it up once more at 16 apiece before the Tigers re-took the lead and outscored Schuyler County 16-6 to lead 28-19 at the half.
It felt like the Tigers were firmly in control of this one, but the Rams opened the second half by going on a 14-2 run through the first 5:30 of the third quarter to take a 33-32 lead.
Hamlin hit a shot in the lane to re-take the lead 20 seconds later at 34-33. This time Scotland County would stay in front for good. Schuyler County outscored Scotland County 19- 11 in the third quarter, but the Tigers still led 39-38.
Scotland County would step up the defensive intensity and keep attacking the rim in the final stanza. They outscored the Rams 20-13 to walk away with the 59-51 conference victory.
Coach Jeremy Austin said after the game that he was proud of how his team took a punch and recovered well. “We got hit HARD there on that run. We had huge moments from a lot of guys tonight.”
Defensive intensity and hustle plays were the key to the Tiger victory. “That’s exactly what we’ve been focusing on these last couple of games,” Austin said. “Every loose ball we’ve got two guys diving on the floor and fighting hard for it.”
Hamlin led all scorers with 20 points. Triplett had 15 points for the Tigers, Trayton Buckallew had 8 points, Jared Cerroni and Corby Spurgeon had 5 points apiece, Hunter Holt had 4 points and Vince Dale had 2 points.
Schuyler County’s Trevyn Small had 19 points, Kale Windy 15 points and Cooper Amen 12 points.