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By: Corey Stott
MILAN, Mo.- 2/17/23- Both Scotland County varsity basketball squads traveled to Milan where they battled in a loud, raucous environment. While both games were close and competitive, Scotland County came up short in both.
The Lady Tigers took the tip in the first game but Milan’s Auburn Cole got on the board first with an “and 1”. It was pretty even in the scoring department in a first quarter that featured lots of missed shots and turnovers by both teams. Milan led 9-8 at the end of the period.
The second quarter was more of the same, with yet more missed shots and a high rate of turnover that resulted in a low scoring period. The Lady Tigers outscored Milan 6-5 and the game was tied at 14 at halftime on an Abby Doster free throw with 1.9 seconds on the clock.
The Lady Tigers had the ball to start the third frame. A Kwyn Hamlin layup gave Scotland County the 16-14 lead on their first possession. A Doster bucket extended the lead to 18-14. But Milan came back to tie it at 20 apiece just under five minutes in the quarter on a Marian Dabney 3-pointer. There were three more ties or lead changes over the final four minutes of the quarter. The Lady Tigers led 27-25 after three.
The fourth quarter featured lots of free throws. The Lady Tigers failed to capitalize, making only four of twelve from the stripe in the period. Milan’s Avery Pickering tied it at 28-28 at the 6:17 mark. A Dabney corner three gave Milan the lead for good. The Lady Wildcats used a 12-5 run to close out the game and win it 43-33.
Hamlin led all scorers with 15 points. Paige Bishop had eight points, Doster seven and Bryn Aylward three points. Milan’s Dabney tallied 16 points, Pickering 12 and Cole 10 points.
The boys were up next. Scotland got the opening tip and scored first on a Vince Dale shot from the block just over a minute into the game. Ahmet Niasse had the Wildcat answer with the 3-ball. Just halfway through the period, Owen Triplett injured his ankle and never returned to the game. Corbin Blessing tied the game at 7-7 just seconds later, but a Jeremy Bennett euro-step shot in the lane gave Milan the lead back at 9-7. With just 15 seconds left in the quarter, Layne Stott drilled a 3-pointer to cut the Milan lead to 12- 10 after one quarter.
A Beau Triplett shot in the paint at the 6:46 mark of the second began a 7-2 Tiger run to regain the lead 17-16 with 3:15 to play in the half. But a Nathan Keck ice-cold 3-point dagger shortly after gave Milan the lead back 19-17. That began an 8-0 run for Milan to end the half and they led 24-17.
Scotland County outscored Milan 13-11 in the third quarter but couldn’t chip in to the deficit. Milan led 35-30 after three.
A 6-0 Milan run began the first three minutes of the final quarter. They led 41-30 at that point. Scotland County answered with a 6-0 run of their own to close within five, trailing 41-36 with 3:33 to play. But Milan would outscore Scotland County 10-9 to close out the quarter and they won 51-45.
Niasse led all scorers with 21 points and Bennett had 17. Scotland County was led by Dale’s 13 points. Blessing scored 10, Kallen Hamlin eight, Stott six, Tayte Richmond four and Marcus Smith and Beau Triplett each had two points.