Some nights, a team gets hot and stays hot from the field. Stephens County had one of those nights Friday at the expense of the Madison County girls’ basketball team.
The Red Raiders lost their Region 8-AAAA opener to the Indians 87-75. Thirty six of Stephens County’s points came from beyond the arc, including its first 12 points of the game. Kayla McPherson’s 15 fourth quarter points spurred a comeback which did little more than make the score look respectable.
“The good thing is, we had fight in us,” said head coach Dan Lampe. “We didn’t play good half-court defense, we didn’t play any good defense tonight. We want to speed things up, but we don’t want to give up all those wide open threes. The shot the ball well … but it makes it a lot easier when you don’t have a hand in their face.
“We have got to go back to the drawing board, especially with our half-court defense. I don’t think we can run our match-up zone. I probably should have learned that a little bit earlier. I thought we had it in practice, but we came out and it just fell apart.”
Even when Stephens County (8-3, 1-0 Region 8-AAAA) cooled off from beyond the arch in the second quarter, Madison County couldn’t capitalize. Instead, the Indians dominated the board and created second chance points.
“They killed us on the put backs,” Lampe said. “They absolutely killed us on the boards. Every game we’ve lost, we lost huge on the boards. Tonight, was no difference.”
Madison County (5-6, 0-1 Region) couldn’t keep the game close for very long. The Indians opened the game with a pair of three-pointers to go up 6-0. Caitlyn Arwood hit her own three and McPherson drove the lane for a layup to cut the score to 6-5, but the game quickly spiraled out of control.
Two more three’s by the Indians started an 8-0 run to extend the lead to 14-5. Shots by McPherson and Tiffany Wilson cut the lead back to 14-9. Both teams went back and forth until Wilson’s short jumper made the score 19-13 still in the first quarter. The Indians ended the quarter on a 13-3 run to lead 32-17 at the first stoppage. 21 of their points came off three pointers.
Madison County failed to take advantage of Stephens County cooling down offensively in the second quarter and were still outscored 16-14, going into halftime trailing 48-31. The three-ball returned for Stephens County in the third quarter. 12 points from the perimeter helped counter McPherson’s 14 points. The Indians still lead 72-53 after three quarters.
The fourth quarter was all McPherson however and she nearly brought the Red Raiders all the way back. She started with a pair of assists to Wilson to cut the lead to 72-57. The Indians responded with a three-pointer. McPherson followed by drawing three shooting fouls and sinking all of her free throws in a 10-4 run to cut the lead to 79-67.
“I thought it was her first game where she stayed focused throughout the entire game,” Lampe said. “Really was zeroed in on this game. She stayed focused in it. Even defensively she did well.”
However, Stephens County took a timeout to regroup. The timeout worked and Stephens County held on to win 87-75.