Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
By Gary R. Rasberry
Third-quarter run lifts Indians
Midwest Athletic Conference Girls Basketball
VERSAILLES - Sometimes, it takes just one little hot streak to put a game firmly into one team's grasp.
For Fort Recovery, it was an 8-0 run in the third quarter that allowed the Indians to pull away and knock off Versailles 58-49 in a battle of Midwest Athletic Conference unbeatens on Monday night at Tiger Gymnasium.
The Indians improve to 7-2 on the season and 3-0 in the MAC. Versailles sees a seven-game win streak snapped to go to 8-2 and 3-1 in the MAC.
"They're a good team. We beat a quality opponent tonight," said Indians coach Doug Bihn. "It was physical and you knew it was going to be physical. Every MAC game is."
It looked early on that the Tigers were in control in taking an 11-7 lead after one quarter, thanks in part to the Tigers working to get the ball inside to 6-1 Megan Campbell, who had six points in the first quarter.
Fort Recovery recovered and got back into the game, trading short leads with Versailles during the middle portion of the second quarter. The Tigers looked ready to go into the half up 24-22 after a pair of Cassie Prenger free throws, but Holly Brunswick got the lob-pass alley-oop at the end of the buzzer to tie the game.
The lead changed hands five times in the first four minutes of the third quarter, but the tide slowly went Fort Recovery's way starting with Nicole Pottkotter's three-pointer at the 4:19 mark to put the Indians up 31-28. The Tigers turned the ball over on their possession, allowing Holly Brunswick to hit a trey of her own to make it 34-29. The Tigers turned the ball over again - turning it over 22 times in the game - with Chelsey Leuthold getting the two-pointer to make it 36-29. The 8-0 Indians run was snapped when Campbell got a bunny to fall to make it 36-31.
"We knew we're a good shooting team. Sometimes we just lack a little confidence," said Bihn, whose squad shot just 35 percent on the night, but were just 6-of-22 (27.3 percent) in the first half. "I told the kids if you miss a few, don't stop (shooting). You can only score if you shoot. They kept doing it and got on a roll."
"They hit quite a few shots from the outside, which we were playing off of. That was our gameplan: to play off, give them a step and make them hit from outside," said Tigers coach Jacki Stonebraker. "They did in the third quarter. The third quarter got away from us defensively and that burst our bubble."
Five points would be all the closer the Tigers would get in the game as fouls began to amass. The Indians, who were 12-of-16 from the stripe in the first half, were 11-of-14 in the second half. Nicole Dilworth was 6-of-8 from the stripe in the fourth quarter, finishing 8-of-10 en route to a 12-point night.
"They didn't miss from the free throw line," said Stonebraker. "They're a good foul shooting team. That's going to win them a lot of ballgames."
The Tigers tried to counter by getting the ball into Campbell, but the Indians played the lob well and got some turnovers, but it didn't stop the senior from finishing with 25 points and 12 rebounds, drawing praise from both coaches.
"She's such a great athlete," said Stonebraker. "She has so much heart out there - as does the other girls. She never backs down. We were getting the ball in to her, sometimes forcing it a little bit too much tonight. Her effort tonight was great."
"We had our hands full with her," said Bihn. "We knew she was going to get her (points). We thought we'd make it an up-tempo game, get it up and down a bit, we'd be okay. I don't she's used to being on the floor as long as she was tonight. She had to play the majority of the 32 minutes tonight. That worked in our favor."
Leuthold paced the Indians with 14 points. Holly Brunswick added 12 points.
Both teams are back in MAC play on Thursday. Fort Recovery will look to snap Coldwater's five-game winning streak down at Fort Site Fieldhouse while Versailles makes the short trek to Maria Stein to face Marion Local, who will enter at 3-0 in conference play.
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