Central takes control as Potosi plagued by fouls

Central takes control as Potosi plagued by fouls

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FREDERICKTOWN – The same aggressive tone that helped Potosi surge ahead of Central before halftime ultimately put the Lady Trojans in daunting foul trouble on Monday night.

Junior standout Sophia Horton sparked a pivotal 15-0 run in the fourth quarter, and the top-seeded Lady Rebels prevailed 61-48 in the first round of pool play at the Fredericktown Tournament.

Central (2-0) withstood a shaky second quarter by playing superior fundamental defense in the second half and capitalizing on a justified foul disparity.

Horton compiled 24 points plus eight rebounds, and scored six straight after Potosi senior Jayleen Like tied the game at 40-40 on a runner just seven seconds into the final period.

Aubree Eaton made a steal and outlet pass to Avery Norris for a layup, and Norris assisted Abby Holmes for the next Central basket off broken pressure.

Madison Holmes dished an extra pass to Horton for a shot through contact. The 3-point play made the margin 55-40 while drawing the fifth foul on Lady Trojans star forward Olivia Coleman.

The Lady Trojans suffered a drought that lasted nearly six full minutes until Madeline Bradley sank her second 3-pointer with 1:55 remaining.

Norris compiled 16 points with five steals and five assists, and Kaley Kimball provided nine points with nine rebounds to bolster Central.

The Lady Rebels jumped ahead 9-2, and Norris restored an 18-8 advantage with a steal and layup after Horton connected from the perimeter along the left side.

Potosi (0-1) opened its season one week later than expected after postponing a scheduled home game against Steelville and configuring its coaching staff.

Brett Hale, who switched from guiding the Potosi boys’ program over the summer, abruptly resigned before coaching his first contest with the Lady Trojans.

Matt Bradley stepped down after last season to take the high school principal position, but was back on the sideline in an interim capacity on Monday night with assistants Chris Kearbey and Allie Golden, who joined the team last week after previously serving as an assistant with Mineral Area College.

Their squad erased its early 10-point deficit with an explosive 17-2 run before halftime, turning several steals into transition baskets after Norris went to the bench with two fouls.

Sophomore Carley Hampton sparked Potosi with a 3-pointer, and suddenly gave her team a five-point cushion on consecutive steals and layups after Coleman drilled a go-ahead triple from the corner.

Kiersten Blair, who totaled nine points and five steals overall, added two free throws to establish her team’s largest lead at 27-20.

Norris returned to sink a jumper, and Kimball scrapped along the floor to win a physical rebound before hustling down for a transition score as the trailer.

Hampton regained a 34-31 lead for the Lady Trojans by countering a tying 3-pointer from Horton, but Potosi piled up 10 third-quarter fouls in a hurry.

Coleman was whistled three times in less than four minutes, giving her four fouls in total, and walked to the bench clutching her nose after Abby Holmes drew a charging call against her.

Hampton answered a Norris drive with a tying steal and layup at 38-38, and paced the Lady Trojans with 18 points and five steals. Like had eight points and Coleman finished with seven.

Central made 17-of-30 free throws, including 8-of-16 by Horton, and will continue pool play against Fredericktown on Thursday.

Potosi, which was 5-of-10 from the line, drew Fredericktown for its second tourney game on Tuesday.

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