(by Don Meador, February 20, 2018)
For a second consecutive season, the Allen County-Scottsville Lady Patriots will miss the Region 4 tournament. Glasgow took advantage of a physical tempo game, strong rebounding, and a puzzling triangle-and-two defense to defeat AC-S, 49-41, Monday night in the opening round of the District 15 tournament at Glasgow High School.
“We needed to transition the ball and rebound the ball,” coach Brad Bonds said. “We felt like we needed to get up and down the floor and up the tempo and give ourselves easy transition baskets. We were not able to do that consistently. We felt like if we could, they would not be able to set back in their zones. Glasgow forced their well on us on the glass, offensively and defensively.”
The battle on the glass proved to be a key, especially in the second half. The Lady Scotties out rebounded the Lady Patriots 34-23 with the numbers including 14 offensive boards.
“They were very critical rebounds and several were off of free throws,” Bonds added.
Bonds added that Glasgow played physical throughout the contest.
“Glasgow imposed their will on us,” Bonds noted. “I don’t think they wanted it any more than we did but they played well and desire the win.”
The Lady Scotties also managed to shut down Lady Patriot Sarah Sutton. Packing their defense in, Glasgow led Sutton to a season-low five points---her lowest offensive output since the Clinton County game in January of 2016. Sutton---who entered the game averaging almost 19 points a game---was limited to three shot attempts, six trips to the line, and held the junior to five rebounds.
Lady Patriot Mason Towery attempted to pick up the slack. Towery led AC-S with 12 points on five of 13 shooting from the field. Senior Kali Mutter added a career-high seven points---including a pair of four quarter baskets that helped AC-S stage a late-game rally.
Glasgow opened a 10-7 lead after the first frame with arguably the biggest play coming in the final seconds. Sutton was whistled for her second foul forcing AC-S to face a situation absent for the most part this season---having to play with Sutton in foul trouble.
“You know going into any game that you will have to make adjustments,” Bonds said, adding, “You just don’t want it to be with of the best players in the region. But, we did a great job weathering that storm.”
Early in the second period, Bonds elected to hold the ball---despite trailing by a point. The game plan was to force Glasgow to be more aggressive of simply, allow the period to pass with Sutton in foul trouble. Glasgow would attempt to up the pace of play which led to AC-S getting several solid looks at the baskets. Baskets by Bailee Alderson and Sydney Day kept the Lady Patriots within a point. Just under the mid-point of the period, Alderson scored again to give AC-S a 13-12 lead. A jumper from Towery lifted AC-S to a 15-13 lead. Glasgow pulled even at 16 by the half.
“We felt really good at halftime about the second half,” Bonds pointed out. “We just did not make shots and rebound. Glasgow was able to impose their will and that’s hard on us as a small team.”
Glasgow began to open a lead in the third quarter behind the play of Anzley Adwell. The freshman---who finished with 24 points---scored 12 of her team’s 16 third quarter points.
“Adwell was amazing,” Bonds said. “She will not fill it up from the parameter consistency but this is two games she has shot the ball really well against us. You close out on her outside and she can go by you and get into the lane. We were kind of timid guarding her on penetration going to the rim.”
Down 32-24 after the third period, the Lady Patriots could not jump start the offense against Glasgow’s zone defenses. The Lady Scotties opened a 40-28 lead by the 3:01 mark. However, AC-S would make a final run.
A Day steal and lay-up and a pair of quick buckets from Towery keyed a 6-0 run, pulling AC-S to within six, 40-34, with 1:54 left. A quick steal by Mutter led to a Glasgow steal and Mutter at the line with a chance to trim the lead to four at the 1:40 point. Mutter missed on the first end of the bonus. Sutton grabbed the rebound but could not convert on the shot attempt.
For Adwell free throws pushed the lead to nine for Glasgow only to see Mutter drain a three to pull her team to within six, 45-39. Adwell sank one of two free throws and Sutton was fouled on the next AC-S possession. After hitting both free throws, AC-S was still within five, 46-41, with 30 seconds left. Free throws by Kayla Bradley and Keyden Hughes sealed the win for Glasgow.
AC-S finished the game 16-45 from the floor and seven of 11 at the foul line. Glasgow was 14-30 from the floor but went 18-32 at the line.
The loss capped a season in which the Lady Patriots faced uphill battles almost from the opening tip of the first pre-season scrimmage. Freshman Allison Meador tore her ACL in the scrimmage. A month later, junior Jaylee Woods also suffered an ACL tear. The results mean that Bonds and the AC-S coaches spent the first two months of the season making adjustments to the Lady Patriots’ offense and defense.
“We definably have overcome a lot of obstacles,” Bonds added. “But, this illustrates life. There will be struggles to overcome.”
The Lady Patriots capped the regular season last Tuesday with a 53-36 win over the Warren Central Lady Dragons. On a night in which the team’s five seniors---Sydney Day, Kali Mutter, Baylea Cook, Bailee Alderson, and KayLee Stafford were honored---Sutton’s career-matching 30 points keyed the team to the win.
Sutton helped AC-S pull away and record their 18th win despite a challenge from an improving Central team. AC-S led 11-7 after the first quarter and opened a 26-18 lead at halftime. A 17-10 third frame and a 10-8 fourth quarter enabled the Lady Patriots to record the win.
Sutton finished the game 14-18 from the floor and one of two at the line. Sutton also grabbed eight rebounds. Towery added 15 points.
Bonds started his seniors as a tribute to their dedication and work over the past several seasons.
“These seniors are not necessary the most skilled players but they will work your tail off,” Bonds explained. “We are going to miss that.”
AC-S (18-12) will return a solid core of younger players and are expected to have Meador and Woods available when the new season starts in late November.