PARK HILLS — The Central Lady Rebels have taken full advantage of their recent home stand, winning all five games including their Christmas Tournament, and on Thursday they added the South Iron Panthers to their list of victims with a 56-38 win.
Central’s defense had as much to do with their victory as their scoring. South Iron was unable to penetrate the Lady Rebels zone, and upon trying they were highly contested by the Lady Rebels.
On offense, Central pushed the ball up the floor in transition and South Iron was often a little slower in catching up to Central’s speedier guards of Riley Owens and Mackenzie Jones. Central’s racing play and tight defense resulted in the two teams combining to shoot 56 free throws with 40 fouls being called in the game.
Owens scored the first two baskets of the game with one off of an offensive rebound and another on her first of five steals in the game. Owens scored seven of her game-high 16 points in the first quarter and also pulled down six of her game’s 10 rebounds.
The quick start by Central was only countered by the Lady Panthers at the free throw line where they made 6-8 to tie the game at 7-7 and then again at 8-8. Owens broke the last tie of the game with a defensive rebound which she converted by driving the length of the court to make a lay-up at the buzzer.
The Lady Rebels pulled away to start the second quarter with two baskets by Sydney Skaggs and one by Owens to make the score 16-8.
Central’s defense held firm again in the second quarter to deny South Iron any field goals during the eight minutes. The Lady Panthers were regulated to the free throw line where they scored all six of their quarter’s points. The Lady Panthers scored only one field goal in the first half – a lay-up by Bethany DeBoard off of a steal in the first quarter.
Skaggs took a seat after collecting her third foul, only to have Tia Jordan score the next basket after replacing her. Jones scored two baskets in transition late in the quarter, giving her six points in the quarter out of her final 11 in the game.
South Iron was able to get off a few more shots in the third quarter as the Lady Rebels contracted three fouls on four of their players, but the Lady Panthers could not capitalize on the Lady Rebels misfortune as they still struggled from the floor.
South Iron was 9-42 in the game for 21 percent from the floor, and only 1-8 from beyond the arc, but they were 21-29 from the line for 72 percent. Central finished 22-52 from the floor for 42 percent and was 1-10 on three-point tries. The Lady Panthers received 20 points from their bench to Central’s six, all by Jordan.
South Iron won the battle of the boards with 38 rebounds to Central’s 34, but the Lady Rebels held the turnover edge with 15 to South Iron’s 20. Central made a total of 12 steals in the game.
Central’s lone three was made by Owens late in the third quarter. South Iron’s three-pointer was made by DeBoard in the fourth quarter. Along with three more free throws in the quarter, DeBoard led the Lady Panthers scoring with 12 points.
Playing with four fouls, Brylee Boyd put the spark in Central’s final stanza, scoring two baskets on fast breaks and a pair of free throws to give her nine points in the game, all in the second half.
Central (7-4) will play their first conference game on Tuesday when they will again be the host to the Ste. Genevieve Hunters.
South Iron 8 6 8 16 – 38
Central 10 17 11 18 – 56
SI – Bethany DeBoard 12, Ashley Patterson 6, Haley Sutton 5, DeAuna Prater 4, Kalynne Mickan 3, Mikayla Middleton 2, Daisha Prater 2, Madison Ruble 2, Chelsea Lashley 2. 3-pt FG – DeBoard.
C – Riley Owens 16, Mackenzie Jones 11, Brylee Boyd 9, Sydney Skaggs 8, Briley Merritt 6, Tia Jordan 6. 3-pt. FG – Owens.