(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
SCOTT CITY -- Defending their Scott-Mississippi Conference title on Thursday, the Scott City Lady Rams rode a dominant performance from senior Katie Hogan to a 56-51 win over Delta.
Finishing the night with a game-high 34 points, Hogan shot 14 of 18 from the floor while adding 12 rebounds and six blocked shots to Scott City's cause.
"I think most of them where in the paint," Lady Rams head coach Ricky Keller said of Hogan's point total. "They just had no answer down low for her. All the other girls knew where to go. I didn't draw anything up for her.
"I told the other girls if you get an open shot, shoot it and that will help her out. But she just kept scoring at will so they kept going to her."
Scoring 14 of her team's first 17 on the night, Hogan helped Scott City keep pace with a high scoring Lady Bobcats team that matched the Lady Rams shot-for-shot until late in the fourth.
It was with the teams locked at 49-49 with 1:02 to play that the Lady Rams finally got the separation they needed.
Swarmed by Delta defenders after taking the ball in the paint, Hogan dished to fellow senior Andrea Gray, who was waiting at the top of the arc.
Undefended, Gray nailed her fourth 3-pointer of the night to put the Lady Rams up 52-49.
"Being her third game back her shot is coming along," Keller said of Gray. "I feel if she can do that for us and we have a different girl step up every night that we can do some good things late in the year."
After a pair of Lyndse Hamby free throws had cut their deficit to one, the Lady Bobcats were forced to foul as Scott City ran the clock down to its final 38 seconds.
Hogan converted on both her free throws for her final points of the night before a steal from Lyndsie Robert on the defensive end gave the Lady Rams control once again.
After running another 20 seconds off the clock, Robert went in for a layup right before the buzzer to cap the win.
"There was some things we would have liked to have done better toward the end," Delta head coach Randy White said. "But Scott City played well. They shot the ball well and Gray is tough.
"You have to get out and get on her and we let her get her feet set several times and she really burned us from the outside. Their big girl (Hogan) did a good job inside too."
Shortly before Gray's last 3-pointer gave Scott City the lead, the Lady Bobcats had missed out on a golden opportunity to take the lead.
Having scored four straight points to tie the game at 49-49, Lyndse Hamby went to the line to shoot a one-and-one with 1:31 left in regulation.
As her first shot sailed in to give the Lady Bobcats the lead, however, a Delta defender was called for a lane violation, wiping away the shot and the opportunity to go up by two.
"You have to let those free throws hit like that," White said. "The best thing you can do is stand there and admire the shot. You don't want to do anything to take away your opportunity to score in a close game like that."
Behind Hogan's 34 points, Gray was second on the Lady Rams with all 12 of her points coming from behind the arc. Robert was third on the team with four points.
"We knew that it was going to be a close game," Hogan said. "We had to push them. Last time we played them, (a 44-38 loss), we let down in the third quarter and that's when they got up.
"We tried fighting back (in that game) and you just can't do that to a good team."
For the Lady Bobcats, Tori Burton had a team-high 20 points while Machela VanGennip and Hamby finished with 15 and 10 respectively.
"The key was we just didn't turn the ball over," Keller said. "We had turnovers on their end, on defensive possessions, but on offensive possessions my stats had us with two turnovers in the second half, which is phenomenal. We only had seven in the first half.
"Our teams never stay under double digit turnovers and I think that was the key."
SCOTT CITY (56) -- Lyndsie Robert 4, Lindsey Rendleman 2, Katie Rhymer 2, Katie Hogan 34, Alicia Kern 2, Andrea Grey 12. FG 22, FT 6-10, F 14. (3-pointers: Hogan 2, Gray 4. Fouled out: none.)
DELTA (51) -- Lyndse Hamby 10, Alysha Vessells 6, Machela VanGennip 15, Tori Burton 20. FG 19, FT 9-12, F 10. (3-pointers: Vessells 2, VanGennip 1, Burton 1. Fouled out: none.)