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Lady Pack hold off Eastern, 46-39

January 12, 2011
After getting behind in the first quarter, the Crawford County girls' basketball team bounced back with a stronger defensive effort to derail the visiting Lady Musketeers of Eastern (Pekin) Saturday afternoon on a day of homecoming activities. The win improved the Lady Pack's record to 10-5 as thoughts of the sectional begin to go into high hear.

"We've put together several good games in a row, right now," Crawford County coach Alan Cox said. "Even in a couple of our losses, which were against good teams, we played well. Two of the best games we've played this year may have resulted in losses. We're headed the direction we want to go."

It was the Lady Musketeers who came out with the hot hands early as Eastern took a 15-4 lead, with Jocelyn Mousty getting seven of those, Emily Newcomb punching in a pair of three-balls and Krista Roberts hitting two free throws. Crawford County finished the period with a 6-2 burst to gain some ground, down 17-10 after one quarter.

"We didn't get off to a good start," Cox said. "I thought my girls came out ready to play. I didn't really think it was a letdown from that standpoint. Eastern shot the ball pretty well. We got down, but my kids didn't panic. We were calm and patiently got ourselves back in the game."

Mousty scored inside to begin the second period, but Crawford County launched a counterattack for a 17-2 run to lead 27-21. Roberts put a deuce in the bucket late, and the Lady Pack held a 27-23 at halftime.

"We did make one little defensive switch," Cox said. "We went from our zone to a box-and-one, which we've never played. I messed around with it in practice just a little bit, and we couldn't guard our JV with a box-and-one. It worked tonight. We stuck with it until the very end."

The scoring slowed in the third quarter, and the game tightened as Eastern came back for a 29-all tie. There were a few tense moments when Mousty and Carolyn Pellman became entwined as the Eastern bench looked for a flagrant foul and Mousty looked at Pellman with frustration.

Kayla Toney got open in the paint with a minute to go, and the Lady Pack held a 31-29 edge with one quarter left.

"I don't really know what happened," Cox said. "I know Carolyn wasn't trying to do anything flagrant. Carolyn doesn't have a flagrant bone in her body. Their bench seem to think it was somewhat flagrant. Maybe it did hurt their concentration on what they were trying to do."

Crawford County gave itself some breathing room in the first two minutes of the final quarter as two free throws by Chelsea Jellison and Ashley Forbes' three put the Lady Pack up, 36-29. Roberts scored again inside for Eastern, but Jellison and Toney upped the Lady Pack advantage to 40-31 as Eastern missed its next three shots.

Newcomb scored with 2-1/2 minutes to go, then Crawford County called time-out. The Lady Pack then ran 1:22 off the clock and called time-out again. At that point, Eastern was forced to foul, and Crawford County hit six of eight from the stripe to secure the 46-39 win.

"I was real pleased with the way the girls played," Cox said. "We executed down the stretch and was able to run a little time off the clock once it got down to about three minutes, and we were up seven points."

Jellison led Crawford County with 22 points, and Toney punched in 15. The Lady Pack hit 13 of 30 field-goal attempts (43 percent) and 14 of 20 free throws. Crawford County had 12 turnovers.

"We still need to finish shots a little bit better," Cox said. "We had some shots we didn't finish off. We work on that every day. We work with kids trying to put a body on them shooting layups. I guess with just repetition, doing it over and over again, hopefully, we'll get better at it."

Mousty led Eastern with 13 points, and Newcomb finished with 11. Roberts followed with 10 points for the Lady Musketeers, who hit 15 of 39 field-goal attempts (38 percent) and eight free throws on 10 chances. Eastern had 16 turnovers.

"A lot of things Eastern runs goes through Mousty's hands," Cox said. "We were able to kind of take her out of the game a little bit with that. She still got her points. We knew she was going to get hers. I just think it kind of threw the momentum in our favor a little bit."

"I was just pleased overall," Cox said. "Crystal (Allen) continues to get better off the bench. Her and Mary (Bolin) did a nice job on the big girl. They split time on the big girl, but I can't just single those two out on Mousty. The other girls did a good job helping. It was a nice team effort for our kids."

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