(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
CHAFFEE -- Rebounding from an overtime loss to Kelly earlier in the week, Scott County Central took advantage of a sluggish start by Chaffee on Thursday to post its sixth win of the season.
Led by Johniqua Fort's 21 points, while getting 13 from Mikaela Blissett, the Bravettes took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter before holding on for a 55-49 final.
"We came out strong and then we kind of dwindled off," Scott Central coach Semona Penrod said. "I don't know if some of that is youth playing a part. That they really don't understand the amount of time in which things can happen.
"The biggest trouble we're having right now is they don't understand the time factor and what can happen in a short amount of time. We have to get things together before districts time if we're going to have a showing."
Holding the Lady Devils shooting only to 1 of 11 in the first 6:48 of the contest, the Bravettes came out to a 14-3 run that was capped with a basket from Blissett.
Chaffee got a couple of buckets from Jordan Pruitt in the final 1:12 of quarter to kick start their offense and by the final two minutes of the half, had closed back two within three points of the Bravettes.
Giving Scott Central a little breathing room, Derien Ditto dropped in a put back before a 3-pointer from the right corner by Fort with 50 seconds left pushed the Bravettes back ahead 31-23 going into the break.
"That first quarter kind of killed us," Chaffee coach Darrin Pruitt said. "We didn't come out scoring like we should, but the girls played hard and they battled.
"Just a lot of bad things happened. We had a few key turnovers in places that shouldn't have happened."
Despite going back up by 11 in the first three minutes of the second half, Scott Central couldn't shake the Lady Devils as a 5-0 rally had Chaffee back within four, at 42-38, with a minute to play in the third quarter.
A couple baskets by Ditto and Blissett, plus a pair of free throws from Abby Ross, all in the final 45 seconds of the frame, put the Bravettes back up by 10, at 48-38, going into the final frame.
With time dwindling down and Scott Central still holding an eight-point advantage with 1:14, the resilient Lady Devils made one final push fueled in part by a Bravette turnover.
Getting a quick bucket from Jordan Pruitt, Chaffee forced a turnover on Scott Central's end before coming down the floor and closing to within four points on a jumper by Ellie Sigman with 36 seconds remaining.
Forced to foul, the Lady Devils pulled down the rebound when Scott Central missed both free throws, giving Chaffee a chance to close back to within a score.
While working the ball up the floor, however, an errant pass at mid-court sailed out of bounds near the scorer's table to give the Bravettes control with 16 seconds left.
"We rebound the ball real well," Darrin Pruitt said. "But then sometimes we don't make that outlet pass very well. So when we lose a turnover right there on their end of the floor."
Going 3 of 4 from the charity stripe in the final seconds, Scott Central was able to seal the win.
Improving to 6-12, the Bravettes had three double-digit scorers on the night led by Fort's 21 and Blissett's 13. Ditto had 11 points, including two of the team's four 3-pointers.
"Overall, we looked kind of sluggish," Penrod said. "Our press isn't working as well as it has in the past. We have people who need to pick things up and they're not getting it done right now.
"They're going to have to all pull together and that's what we talked about, is everybody doing their part. As small a team as we are, if everybody isn't working, it's not going to work."
Now at 4-17, the Lady Devils got a game-high 23 points from Jordan Pruitt, who hit a pair of 3-pointers and grabbed five rebounds and two steals. Second on the team was Sigman with 13 points, nine rebounds and three steals.
On Jordan Pruitt and Sigman's strong night, Darrin Pruitt said, "They couldn't do it without Adrienne (Eichhorn) either.
"Adrienne is our 1-guard and without her bringing the ball down and setting up Jordan, our 2-guard, then we can't get that. Ellie has really learned to come in and post up hard. We just have to get her to finish."
Eichhorn had five points on the contest to go with four rebounds, three steals and two assists.
"I can't say anything bad about of these girls," added Darrin Pruitt. "They play really hard and we're not as much young as we are inexperienced. Some of the girls hadn't played ball in a couple of years before this season.
SCOTT CENTRAL (55) -- Mikaela Blissett 13, Johniqua Fort 21, Derien Ditto 11, Abby Ross 6, Ziaira Davis 4. FG 21, FT 9-21, F 14. (3-pointers: Fort 2, Ditto 2.)
CHAFFEE (49) -- Adrienne Eichhorn 5, Taylor Fodge 1, Elizabeth Sexton 3, Jordan Pruitt 23, Regina Seyer 4, Ellie Sigman 13. FG 19, FT 4-6, F 16. (3-pointers: Eichhorn 1, Pruitt 1. Fouled out: none.)