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Southridge buries Lady Pack, 53-21


December 21, 2011
The Crawford County girls' basketball team ran into a concrete wall Friday night in its homestand against Southridge. While the Lady Pack held their own in the first half, the second half proved to be a disaster as the Lady Raiders ran away with a 53-21 win.

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Crawford County’s Mary Bolin, top, regains control of the ball during a layup after having it knocked away by Southridge’s Victoria Schaefer in the second half of the Lady Raiders’ 53-21 win. Photo by Wade Bell
"Overall, we were pretty pleased except for how it came out on the scoreboard," Crawford County coach Alan Cox said. "That's a good basketball team right there. They held Pike Central to 15 points in their last game. If we played like we've played in the past, Southridge could have maybe beat us 50 or 60."

Crawford County was without starting freshman Brooke Sauer because of a back problem. The Lady Pack slowed the tempo to their favor, enabling them to go back and forth with the Lady Raiders through the first period. Southridge held just a one-point edge, 8-7, after the quarter.

Southridge's strengths began to show in the second period as the Lady Raiders went on an 8-3 run. Mary Bolin scored inside for Crawford County, pulling the Lady Pack back within four, 16-12, but Southridge countered with six straight.

Chelsea Jellison knocked down a deuce before the half, and the Lady Pack went to the locker room with a 22-14 deficit.

"We played an excellent first half," Cox said. "We knew they weren't the type of team we could run up and down the floor with and be able to compete with. We wanted to make it a low-possession ballgame to give ourselves a chance. I felt we did that. Really, I thought our offense the first half was our best defense, because we probably controlled the basketball 80 percent of that first half. By doing that, we felt like Southridge came down and shot some quick shots they normally don't shoot."

"Really, defensively, that was a really tough decision on how to play Southridge," he said. "It was kind of pick your poison. If you zone them, they've got some good shooters and they're going to burn you from the outside. If you man them, they've got some skilled guards that can get in the paint and they've got good finishers that can work it inside."

The Lady Raiders took both the boards and the game over in the third period. Southridge began the third period with a 5-0 burst. Jellison converted a deuce-and-one, but the remainder of the period belonged to the Lady Raiders, who extended their advantage to 38-17.

The Lady Raiders defense and rebounding dominated the fourth quarter, as well, allowing Crawford County just four points in the eight minutes, and Southridge cruised to the 53-21 win.

"I was pretty pleased with the way our kids played," Cox said. "Again, we still found some ways to shoot ourselves in the foot, but that's probably the best ball club we're going to play all year. That's a nice, veteran basketball club with some very talented players on it."

Jellison led Crawford County with 11 points. The Lady Pack got off just 23 shots and hit only seven (30 percent). Crawford County did convert 8 of 9 free throws but had 22 turnovers.

"Where we let down at, especially when we had to go small, Mandi (McLain) got into some foul trouble," Cox said. "We played without Brooke tonight, so we had to go small and then we got hurt on the boards and we started giving them second-chance opportunities. … You can't do that against a good team like that. It's just not going to happen."

Southridge put three players in double figures, with Kendyl Dearing leading with 15 points. Victoria Schaefer finished with 11 points, and Cassie Wertman had 10. Southridge connected on 21 of 50 field-goal attempts (42 percent) and 10 of 19 free throws. The Lady Raiders had just five turnovers.

"We've got to play at the same level we played at tonight," Cox said. "We can't go back down a level when we play. I'm not saying Forest Park is a weaker team, or any of the teams we've got coming up, but we've got to continue to play at a high-energy level making good decisions. We haven't done that. There's been several games this year we've played with that type of effort there and we're going to come out ahead on the scoreboard. But it didn't happen."

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