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Abbott’s 40 points lead SC in overtime upset

Abbott’s 40 points lead SC in overtime upset
Abbott’s 40 points lead SC in overtime upset
With head coach Randall Schoen and sophomore teammate Sarah Pease at her side, South Central senior Rikki Abbott (32) has 40 big reasons to smile after powering the Lady Rebels to a 71-67 victory over Charlestown in the opening game of the High Potential/Southern Indiana Tip-Off Classic on Monday in Elizabeth. Abbott's 40-point night was a career high for the guard. (Photo by Alan Stewart)

The start of Monday night’s opening game of the High Potential/Southern Indiana Tip-Off Classic in Elizabeth was delayed when the compact disc holding ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ could not be located. After a short set-back, the music was found; and as it turned out, the game was well worth the wait.
Host South Central took an early advantage against a much bigger Charlestown team, lost the lead and trailed by as much as nine points, went back on top, swapped leads four times and had the game tied seven times before finally winning in overtime, 71-67.
Both clubs won their respective 1A and 2A sectionals last season.
And, in their first game without graduated all-time leading scorer Rachel Dixon, South got a career-high 40 points from senior Rikki Abbott. She drained 15 of 20 free throws and knocked down a trio of threes, including one with 1:33 left in the extra frame that gave her club the lead for good.
Junior guard Samantha Troutman, who pumped in 21 points in 16 minutes at Saturday’s Crawford County Jamboree, was in foul trouble the first half Monday and was held to nine points.
When Lady Rebels coach Randall Schoen was told after the game of Abbott’s dazzling point total, his look of relief in winning a big game turned to disbelief about how well one of his seniors stepped up.
‘Are you kidding me? I never dreamed that. Before the game, I told the girls that I didn’t care if Samantha had 40 or Rikki had 40, I wanted them to be unselfish throughout the game.
‘I would have never dreamed that she had 40. I guess I made a good call,’ Schoen said. ‘The good thing about that is, they smothered Samantha, and Rikki had 40 points. Last year, we probably wouldn’t have got that if someone held down Rachel. We’d have a decent game from someone else, but nothing of that magnitude.
‘That will help us because we’ll go into the next game and they’ll have to focus on Rikki now. I think Shannon (Bruner) is capable of putting up a lot of points, too.’
The Lady Rebels played at Providence last night (Tuesday) and will host Trinity Lutheran in a varsity-only affair on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Providence defeated Trinity Lutheran on Monday, 79-23.
South took an early 10-4 advantage on a trey by Abbott and a deuce by senior Melissa Biesel.
Charlestown’s Kim Gregory countered with a three-ball at the other end before Abbott added an old-fashioned triple with 1:44 left in the opening frame.
The visitors closed out the period 11-0 run to lead at the first stop, 16-13. Charlestown continued the streak to the second quarter as Gregory and junior Amanda Picente (a mid-season transfer from Lanesville last season) each bombed three to give their team a nine-point lead, 22-13.
A basket by South’s Melissa Biesel stopped the bleeding temporarily, but Charlestown extended the advantage to 12 with a pair of frees by Picente, 29-17.
South mustered a small 9-2 spurt on scores by Abbott, Lindsay Haag and Bruner and closed the gap a bit by halftime, 37-31.
A pair of charity tosses and a field goal by Abbott coupled with a clutch basket by Biesel tied it at 37-37. Gregory gave her team the lead again with a steal and lay-in and two free throws. Despite six third-period points by Charlestown’s Kelsie Thrasher, by the time the third period ended, South had chipped the deficit to five, 49-44.
The Lady Rebels scored the first six points of the fourth frame on two frees by both Biesel and Abbott and a bucket by Haag on a nice pass from Bruner to set the score at 50-49 with South on top.
Jennifer Carlisle gave the Lady Bucs a short-lived lead with two frees, with Troutman following with two charity tosses of her own. In a free-throw fest to the end of regulation, neither team could find the basket with consistency and neither could hang onto the ball: in the final seven possessions, there were six turnovers.
Charlestown went to the paint to take leads of 62-60 and 63-62 on a deuce by Jessie Kessler and a free throw by Kendra Stemler. That’s when Abbott buried her third triple of the game, followed by a field goal by Stemler and a huge three by Bruner to put South ahead for good, 68-65.
After a two by Carlisle, Lady Rebel sophomore Sarah Pease hit one of two free throws to push the lead to 69-65. In one of many big defensive plays, Bruner intercepted an interior pass and fed Abbott for a lay-up to cap the game at 71-67.
‘Charlestown’s got a real nice ball club, and I knew we’d have to have a really good game to beat them. The way they held Samantha all night, if you had told me that they’d hold her like that and we’d still beat them, I would have said there was no way,’ Schoen said.
Schoen, who said Charlestown was the team to beat in the Classic, added that Pease did a ‘real nice job’ on Picente. ‘She had her pretty frustrated a couple of times,’ he said.
For the game, South was 19 of 48 (39 percent) from the field while Charlestown shot 23 of 44 (52 percent). Both clubs were 4-19 beyond the arc.
The Lady Pirates thrashed the hosts on the boards, 35-19, but committed 38 turnovers to the Lady Rebels’ 27. South Central shot 29 of 39 on free throws; Charlestown was 16 of 28.
Rounding out South’s scoring line were Biesel with eight points, Bruner with seven and 13 deflections, Haag with four, and Pease with three.
Charlestown was paced by the 19-point night by Gregory. Stumler and Picente each had 11. Picente fouled out with 7:13 left in regulation.
S.C. 72, Providence 53
Rikki Abbott pumped in 33 points and Samantha Troutman added 22 as the Lady Rebels (2-0) ripped host Providence last night, 72-53.
Abbott was 14-14 at the charity stripe and the team total was 21-27.
Melissa Biesel scored 11 while Sarah Pease, Shannon Bruner and Jennifer Babcock all scored two apiece.
Bruner also had five assists.
The Lady Pioneers (1-1), which shot 9-13 at the line, were led by Tara Cobb’s 17 points.

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