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Turnovers slow Lady Rebels against Salem

Turnovers slow Lady Rebels against Salem
Turnovers slow Lady Rebels against Salem
South Central forward Kayla Lewis drives the baseline against Salem during the season opener Friday night. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

In the season opener, a third-quarter surge wasn’t enough for South Central to get over the hump against visiting Salem in girls’ basketball Friday night.
Salem led from the opening tip, taking the match-up, 55-42.
The Lady Lions held a 13-point advantage at the start of the third quarter. The double-digit lead, however, shrunk during the midway portion when South Central turned up the defensive pressure.
Freshman Jessica DeWeese provided the spark off the bench, knocking down a left-wing 3-pointer to start a 9-0 run. Following the trey, DeWeese scored a steal and dished to Shelby Miller. The senior was fouled on a made basket and converted the 3-point play.
Salem was whistled for a double dribble on its next trip down court, which resulted in DeWeese hitting a field goal. The drive was capped by Kelsey Miller making one of two free throws after a Shelby Miller steal. The spurt put the Lady Rebels within striking distance at 37-34.
‘That third quarter was something to build on,’ South Central coach Randall Schoen said. ‘I believe this team can be a pressing team. We haven’t had a lot of time to work on it, but I know we can press.’
The third quarter ended with Salem’s Kristie Taylor making two field goals, giving the Lady Lions a 41-36 lead after three quarters.
South Central lost steam on offense in the fourth quarter and was held to two field goals. Down the stretch, Salem hit 14 of 20 free throws to ice the game.
The larger issue for South Central was falling behind early and turning the ball over. The Lady Rebels had 17 first-half turnovers and 26 for the game.
‘If you turn the ball over 17 times in a half, you’re not going to beat anybody,’ Schoen said. ‘Really, it was a lot of unforced turnovers. We were making passes when we shouldn’t have, dribbling to bad spots. Some of our inexperienced players made mistakes, but we need to take this experience and learn from it.’
The team also had to deal with foul trouble in the first half. Shelby and Kelsey Miller picked up two fouls in the first quarter and were forced to the sideline. By the end of the quarter, Salem’s Nikia Morgan had six points, leading to a 16-10 lead.
Salem’s lead reached double digits in the second quarter, while the Lady Rebels struggled to maintain possession and hit shots.
Shooting was also a struggle for South Central, which hit five field goals in the opening 16 minutes.
‘We’re a lot better shooting team than we showed tonight,’ Schoen said. ‘We’ve got girls that can knock it down, but they are going to have to put more time in shooting, either on their own or we’ll shoot more in practice.’
Shelby Miller finished with a double-double, scoring 15 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. DeWeese also had double-figure scoring with 10 points in her debut.
‘I think our freshmen Kelsey and Jessica DeWeese played well for us,’ Schoen said.
Senior Katie Saylor finished with five points and 11 rebounds for the Lady Rebels, while Kayla Lewis hit a pair of treys for seven points.
Taylor led Salem in scoring with 14 points. Annie Newkirk chipped in nine points, while Ashley Malloy, Jordyn Wroblewski and Morgan had six points each.
South Central will return to action Friday when the Lady Rebels host Seymour at 8 p.m.
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