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No. 1 Salem crushes Lady Pack

No. 1 Salem crushes Lady Pack
No. 1 Salem crushes Lady Pack
Crawford County senior Treasure Nickelson takes to the air as she drives through the Salem defense in the first quarter. The Lady Lions overpowered the Lady Pack in a 60-26 win. Photo by Wade Bell
By Wade Bell, Sports Writer

The Crawford County Lady Pack ran into a buzz saw last Tuesday night against Class 3A top-ranked Salem in the Ron Ferguson Gymnasium, falling hard in a 60-26 decision. The Lady Pack had one good quarter of the four, but the Lady Lions’ defense steamrolled in an onslaught.

“I thought we battled them,” said Crawford County coach Chris Broughton. “We just ran out of steam. I think Treasure (Nickelson) and Autumn (Schigur) and Sarah (Stutzman) and Taylor (Herbaugh) played about the whole game. We’re not going to be successful if we have to do that. They played as hard as they could play. As a coach, that’s all I can ask out of them.”

Crawford County had a horrendous first quarter, hitting just one of the 11 shots. Meanwhile, Salem put in six of its 13 attempts to take a 12-4 lead after the first eight minutes of play.

The second quarter was not much better as the Lady Pack struggled with turnovers, committing 10 in the period. Crawford County got off six shots in the quarter, hitting two. At the other end of the court, Salem committed just one turnover and hit six of 15 shots against the Crawford County defense. By the end of the half, the Lady Pack found themselves in a hole down 26-9.

“We should have been ahead at the end of the first quarter,” Broughton said. “We missed some real easy ones underneath, but that’s going to happen. I think you can attribute that to not being able to play in practice. I thought we should have been ahead at the end of the first quarter, and who knows what difference that might make.”

“We knew we had to get off to a good start,” he said. “The last two days, Friday and Saturday, we did not start well. You take some of those shots in a normal situation, Treasure, Sarah or Autumn will make, and it could be a completely different game. I feel good with how we started. I feel good about how we played the first quarter and a half, and then we just ran out of steam. There’s not much you can do there.”

Crawford County regrouped and had a better third quarter. Nickelson and Stutzman fought for more rebounds, and the Lady Pack finally got some baskets to go down, hitting five of 11 in the period. Crawford County still had a problem with turnovers, coughing up the ball six times to Salem’s two. The Lady Lions cashed in six of 14 shots from the field for a 45-23 lead.

Crawford County hit a second iceberg in the fourth quarter, hitting just one of 12 shots. Salem went on for the 60-26 win.

“I really thought the kids did an excellent job of taking them out of their out-of-bounds plays,” said Broughton. “Salem, they do almost like a football thing, where they script their plays, ‘Let’s run the first play. Let’s run the second play.’ We knew what was coming, and our kids did an excellent job of taking those things away.

“I thought the game plan was pretty good. You can’t simulate Salem’s press in practice, and you can’t simulate their pressure when you haven’t practiced. That is what it is. We’re not going to see a press like that all year. If we can learn something from it here early, I think we’ll be fine.”

Nickelson led the Lady Pack with nine points, and Stutzman followed with eight. Crawford County was 9 of 40 from the field (23%) and 6 of 11 from the charity stripe. The Lady Pack finished with 25 turnovers for the 32 minutes.

Broughton was happy about his team’s rebounding, especially in the second half.

“That kept us in the game early, and that has to continue,” he said. “I thought Taylor Herbaugh did an excellent job rebounding, going up and actually rebounding or going up and getting her hand on it. A lot of times with us, it’s not actually the person that rebounds the ball. It might be somebody that goes in and affects the ball and lets somebody else get the rebound.”

Karly Sweeney led Salem with 16 and Natalie Noel had 14 for the game. The Lady Lions put in 24 of 51 field goals (47%) and 8 of 9 free throws. Salem finished with 14 turnovers.

Broughton said he and his team have learned a lot in their first three games against three ranked teams but what the team is in vital need of is practice time.

“This is no indication of what kind of team we’re going to have by the end of the season,” he said. “We need some practice time. We need some games against teams that are not ranked No. 1 or ranked No. 2. We need some of those types of situations so that the kids can build some confidence. I don’t what to put anybody in a situation where I don’t feel like they’re not going to be successful, especially with girls; that just breaks their confidence.”

Salem                             12   14   19   15 – 60

Crawford County            4     5   14     3 – 26

Salem – Sweeney 16, Noel 14, Hypes 8, Ratts 8, Backherms 6, Klinglesmith 4, Weber 4

Crawford County – Nickelson 9, Stutzman 8, Herbaugh 6, Schigur 3

3-pointers – Salem 4 (Noel 2, Hypes 1, Sweeney 1); Crawford County 2 (Herbaugh 2).