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Lady Rebs surge past Crawford

January 09, 2013
For 16 minutes at South Central Thursday night, the Crawford County Lady Pack put themselves in a position they had not been in all season: staying close with an opposing team. The second half proved different, however, as the Lady Rebels launched a defensive retaliation to earn a 51-29 win in the Coaches vs. Cancer game.

"Tonight was a good game for us because it was a little bit different," Crawford County coach Alan Cox. "We actually found ourselves being able to compete. We haven't been in any ballgames going into the second half. Hopefully, down the stretch, this game will help us, because it did put us in some unfamiliar territory we haven't been in. I hope we can learn from those situations."

South Central’s Victoria Sallee knocks the ball away from Crawford County’s Mikayla Bowman in the first half of the Lady Rebels’ 51-29 win. Photo by Wade Bell
"The girls responded," South Central coach Randall Schoen said. "We just played last night, and I know maybe they weren't as sharp as what they should have been. But you've got to give Crawford County some credit on that part, too."

South Central came out ice cold in the first quarter, missing its first 10 shots. The Lady Pack took advantage and jumped to a 7-0 lead in the first five minutes. Samantha Turner finally scored for the Lady Rebels and added a free throw. That started a 7-0 burst for South Central, which tied the game at seven by the period's end.

Maddison O'Connor began the second quarter with a South Central three-ball that put the Lady Rebels in front.

Crawford County kept the game tight until South Central had a 5-0 burst to lead 23-16. Brooklyn Matlock countered with a Crawford County putback, and Mikayla Bowman hit a jumper at the end of the half, as the Lady Pack went into the locker room down three, 23-20.

"I thought Crawford County did a nice job in the first half of executing their stuff," Schoen said. "They set a lot of screens, and we ran into a lot of them. I watched them their first game against Salem, and they played pretty well in that game. So, I was really surprised at the way their season has gone."

"We did a lot of good things tonight," Cox said. "It definitely wasn't all negative. Randall commented how well we executed things in the first half offensively, and we did. We took our time and executed and got some good shots. We still had trouble finishing at times, but defensively we didn't do too bad."

Crawford County stayed in the game to begin the second half and was down three, 29-26, with 4:14 to go in the third period. At that point, however, things began to unravel as the Lady Rebels scored the final nine points of the period to lead 38-26.

The fourth quarter was even worse for Crawford County, which managed just a single field goal, a Brooke Sauer three-ball, midway through the period. The Lady Rebels outscored Lady Pack 13-3 in the period and cruised to the 51-29 win.

"We found ourselves in unfamiliar water tonight," Cox said. "Going into the second half, we were in a basketball game. With this young group I've got, we didn't know how to tread water, from the standpoint we had some mental mistakes more than physical mistakes down the stretch. We've never been in that situation this year. Usually going into the second half this year, we've been 20 or more down."

Mandi McLain led Crawford County with eight points. The Lady Pack canned 12 of 30 shots (40 percent) but just four of 14 free throws. Crawford County had 25 turnovers, including 16 in the second half.

"We had another mental breakdown in the fourth quarter where we had just run a set for Brooke Sauer and scored off of it," Cox said. "A couple of plays later we're going to run the same set, and again it was just something as simple as one of our post people didn't screen and it doesn't work. When you're making a comeback and trying to get some momentum, you can't have those mental mistakes."

Kelsey Miller and Chelsey Kaiser led South Central with 17 points each. The Lady Rebels shot 18 of 54 from the field (33 percent) and nine of 21 from the charity stripe. South Central finished with just eight turnovers.

"It was a team effort," Cox said. " We just didn't step up and do the things we had to do to finish that basketball game out."

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