SC four-peats as Holiday Tourney champs
For all intents and purposes, Thursday night’s second semifinal matchup of the South Central Holiday Tournament ‘ the host Lady Rebels against rival Lanesville ‘ was for the championship.
South avenged its Nov. 24 loss to Lanesville by blasting the Lady Eagles, 56-33, behind senior guard Samantha Troutman’s 19 points and a super defensive effort on Lanesville’s stars, Meagan VanHoose and Heather Schaefer.
Lanesville’s duo was held to a combined three points.
Then, in Saturday’s title bout, the Lady Rebels dominated Borden, 70-23, to capture their fourth consecutive title in the tourney’s six-year history.
Lanesville bounced back with a 52-19 decision over Henryville in the consolation.
S.C. 70, Borden 23
The Lady Rebels (8-6) wasted no time putting the championship game away, roaring to a 16-0 lead in the first five minutes and not allowing a shot by Borden until the 3:18 mark of the opening period.
By halftime, South led 32-10. After the intermission, the hosts allowed just five field goals in a 47-point sleeper, 70-23.
Freshman Brittany Schoen, who ranks in the top 10 in the state in scoring, tallied 26 points, and Troutman added 10.
All nine players who saw court time put their names in the score book: Kaela Orwick scored seven, Sarah Yelch and Sarah Pease each put in six, Jenna Kingsley, Megan Zumar and Valerie Burnette all tacked on four points apiece and Candice Cartwright came off the bench for a fourth-quarter trey.
‘That was the only thing we were a little concerned about was getting back and refocused on a game like this. I was pleased we came in focused and got a quick start like we did,’ said South coach Randall Schoen.
The Lady Rebels forced 31 turnovers and held Borden to 17 percent shooting (9 of 51).
Offensively, South drained 28 of 56 shots, including six beyond the arc. The winners had just 13 turnovers and out-rebounded Borden, 39-34.
After shutting out Borden (2-8) through the first five minutes of the game, South went on to post a 20-5 lead at the first stop.
Schoen, Pease, Troutman and Orwick pushed the advantage to 28-7 with 4:51 left in the second quarter.
A free throw by Borden’s Casey Prousa and a deuce by Maria Kirchgessner rallied the Squaws to 28-10, however, Schoen answered with a trey and Pease hit one of two frees for a 32-10 lead at the half.
The two clubs traded baskets for much of the third frame.
With 4:41 showing, and the Lady Braves trailing, 39-15, South Central ripped off another 12-2 spurt on baskets by Yelch, Schoen, Orwick and Burnette to amass a 51-17 lead heading into the final period.
Borden’s Allison Dudley started the scoring in the fourth, but Schoen put in the next seven points, unanswered, giving the hosts a 58-19 lead. The only thing left in question was the final margin.
‘The good teams refocus, come out and play hard every half of every game. We didn’t want to have a total letdown after the first half,’ Coach Schoen said. ‘I thought the girls responded and played hard. It doesn’t take much coaching from me to get them to go after it pretty hard.’
Lanesville 52, Henryville 19
Playing without the services of one of its leading scorers, Lanesville bounced out to a 15-5 lead at the end of the first quarter and put away winless Henryville in the consolation game of the South Central Tourney, 52-19.
Junior guard Maegan VanHoose missed the game due to illness. Any offense she may have provided was picked up by her teammates.
Heather Schaefer put in three triples en route to a game-high 17 points. Allison Horton added 13, and Samantha Haines had six.
By halftime, the Lady Eagles (8-3) more than doubled Henryville’s score, 30-12, and the margin ballooned to 41-17 at the end of the third period.
Lanesville was 16 of 43 from the field, and made 17 of 21 free throw attempts. The winners trimmed the Lady Hornets on the boards, 35-32.
Henryville (0-11), led by the nine points of freshman Lauren Clark, hit just six field goals in 40 tries. The offensive effort by the She Bees was hampered by 26 turnovers.
Lanesville has held Henryville to its two lowest point-totals this season, including a 56-17 victory on Dec. 2.
S.C. 56, Lanesville 33
Revenge was on South Central’s minds in its first rematch against Lanesville since dropping a 71-57 decision on Nov. 24.
Spurred by the 19 points and six three-pointers by Troutman, the Lady Rebels outclassed Lanesville in the middle two quarters in a 56-33 whitewashing.
Schoen added 14 as eight South players notched their name in the score book.
It was Troutman’s first meeting against Lanesville after recovering from a broken elbow.
Defensively, head coach Schoen said, it was the best his club had played all year.
‘I think it’s coming around to where we need to be at this point in the season.
‘The whole key was the defensive job that we did on (Heather) Schaefer and (Meagan) VanHoose. I know Lanesville coming in had built some momentum. We knew we’d have to get a quick start against them. We didn’t get as quick a start as we wanted, and we were fortunate to only be down five at the end of the first quarter.
Lanesville had doubled up South at the first stop, 10-5, but then the host Lady Rebels outscored their rival 25-4 in the second frame.
The onslaught continued in the third, when South added 14 points to its lead, 50-20.
‘They responded to the earlier loss, and they remembered the little things like that, and they didn’t like how it felt,’ Schoen said. ‘They really came out and played hard.’
South’s coach isn’t worried that there will be a letdown when the two clubs meet for the third and final time in the regular season.
That matchup is the first of the new year, Jan. 4 in Elizabeth.
‘We learned our lesson already on that this year. We beat Providence by 25 points and then went back down there and got beat by 13. I don’t think getting up for Lanesville again will be a problem,’ Schoen said.
Schaefer, with two, and VanHoose, with one, were held to season lows. Allison Horton picked up the slack for the Lady Eagles with 15 points. Samantha Haines chipped in six for Lanesville.
All-tourney team members were announced. They were Schoen and Troutman (SC), Horton (L), Kayla Aguirre (H) and Sarah Allen (B).