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Two best games logged by SC, but falls to NW

South Central girls’ basketball coach Randall Schoen said his team played its best games of the year in the sectional.
Friday night, the effort was there, but the Lady Rebels came up short in the Class A Borden Sectional semi-final against rival New Washington, 53-43.
‘Even though we came into sectional with only four wins, I feel we finished with two of our best games of the season,’ Schoen said. ‘I feel we really ended this season on a positive note even though we struggled much of the year.’
The Rebels were paced in scoring by Kelsey Miller and Samantha Turner, who tallied 16 points apiece.
New Washington, which handily won the regular season meeting 72-54, found itself behind early on. The Lady Rebels led 8-6 after the first quarter.
‘We hadn’t hit many shots in the first quarter, but the way we were playing defense, I thought we had a shot to beat them,’ Schoen said.
The focus of the defense was slowing Lady Mustang post player Caroline Ricks. Schoen said they crashed on Ricks from the top to limit her scoring chances. The sophomore ended the game with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
In the second quarter, New Washington opened the game up, outscoring the Lady Rebels 17-6 to lead 23-14 at the half.
‘We let them get better shots and we had some foul issues we didn’t have Tuesday night,’ Schoen said of the second quarter.
The Lady Rebels rallied back. After keeping steady in the third quarter, they entered the final frame down 10. They battled back to cut the New Washington lead to four at one point, but the Lady Mustangs hit free throws down the stretch.
‘We had it to four with four minutes to go, but we started to foul the wrong person,’ Schoen said. ‘But New Washington did a nice job getting the ball to their best foul shooters.’
South Central held tough on the boards against New Washington, with the team’s lone senior, Kristin Miller, pulling down 11 rebounds.
‘We stressed rebounding in the practice before because we didn’t do a good job against Lanesville and New Washington is a really good rebounding team,’ Schoen said. ‘When we made our runs was when we rebounded well on the defensive end.’
Both teams struggled at the foul line with South Central going 16 of 25 and New Washington going 16 of 33.
‘We lose only one senior and have good numbers in the eighth grade class coming up to bounce our numbers back up,’ Schoen said. ‘That’ll help us field a JV team and make our practices better.’
The 13th year coach said he was pleased how the season ended.
‘It’s been tough all year,’ he said. ‘I didn’t feel the girls responded well at times in games, but we did a lot of things better at the end of the year. With the way we played late, it gets the juices flowing for next year. The main thing was we played a lot harder at the end of the year.’
New Washington lost in the championship game, 45-34, to defending champion Borden.