Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lady Rockets lose district finals at the buzzer

Fifth District Tournament
Lyon 48, Crittendn 46
Lyon 11 21 33 48
Crittenden 8 20 36 46
Lyon - Doom 18, Rhodes 11, Riggs 10, White 4, McGill 2, West 3, Snow, Greene. FG. 14. 3-pointers 2 (West, Riggs). FT. 14-20. Fouls 12.
Crittenden - Hodge 15, Tabor 14, Brantley 6, Courtney 5, Brown 2, Johnson 2, Graham 2. FG. 15. 3-pointers 3 (Tabor 3). FT. 7-9. Fouls 20.

Lady Rockets lose district finals at the buzzer

In a hotly contested Fifth District Girls’ Championship game last Friday at Rocket Arena that featured eight ties and 10 lead changes, the Lady Rockets came up on the disappointing end of a 48-46 decision to Lyon County.
The frustrating setback continued the long drought of futility of not capturing a Fifth District Tournament title since 1984, when Coach Shannon Hodge was a junior on the team.
In fact, they are 0-8 in Fifth District Championship games since then, with an average margin of defeat of 18.6 points.
After such an impressive showing against district rival Livingston Central in the opening round triumph, unfortunately there was not a bit of carry over as the Lady Rockets came out sluggish in the opening quarter.
Conversely, the Lady Lyons played well, employing a sticky man-to-man defense that they would stick with the entire way. Behind that fine defensive effort, the visitors took an 11-8 lead after the first quarter.
Unfortunately, an all too familiar theme occurred for Crittenden during that quarter as the duo of forwards Summer Courtney and Whitney Johnson made two early fouls.
Due to those foul woes, Courtney played only 13:41 of the contest while Johnson was limited to 16:08 of action.
With that pair out of the game much of the time, Lyon burned the Lady Rockets all night by scoring at will in the low post.
Another problem for the hosts was in the rebounding department as Lyon outrebounded them 29-21.
The Lady Rockets missed six layups, which could have turned the game in the other direction.
While Lady Lyon senior guard Brittany Doom only combined for 10 points in the two regular-season setbacks to the Lady Rockets, she was hard to stop in the title clash.
She poured in 18 points and pulled down five rebounds to help her team capture the district crown.
Despite not playing very well the entire night, the Lady Rockets entered the fourth quarter with a slim 36-33 lead.
Johnson was whistled for her fifth foul with 5:25 left to play, but Crittenden forward Laken Tabor broke a 38-all tie a few seconds later on a 3-pointer to put her team back in front.
But the Lady Rockets would suffer another casualty at the 4:58 mark as Courtney was called for her fifth foul, forcing them to play even more shorthanded.
The visitors would tie the score for the sixth time on the night less than 1:00 later at 41-all.
Crittenden sending their opponent to the free throw line 20 times did not help their attempt to break the 26-year title drough.
While Crittenden was 7-of-9 from the charity stripe, Lyon got there many more times making 14-of-20 for 70 percent.
With the score knotted at 46-all and 1:18 left to play, Crittenden had possession of the ball after a timeout.
After taking the clock down to below :30 ticks, Lady Rocket senior forward Tiffany Graham was called for walking, only Crittenden’s seventh turnover of the game, but nonetheless a very costly one.
The Lady Lyons brought the ball across halfcourt and called a timeout with 7.6 ticks left. As the Lady Lyons inbounded the ball, Doom drove and made a nice pass to Rachel Rhodes, who made a layup with :01 second left for the winning bucket.
After the defeat, coach Hodge said she could see a performance like this coming, alluding to a sluggish practice the previous day.
“We don’t have anybody to blame but ourselves,” she said.
She credited Lyon with being the aggressor and said they deserved to win the ballgame.
“You’ve gotta hand it to Lyon County,” she said.
She also lamented her team battling foul trouble as a huge problem in defeat.
“The reason for that was that we were not getting in the proper defensive position,” she said.
After being so upbeat from the blowout win over Livingston Central, the Lady Rocket coach was frustrated that her squad reverted back to some of their inconsistent play.
“We’ve had a problem putting four quarters together,” she said.
Lady Lyon coach Jeff Doom was proud of the way his team responded in the title tilt after having lost by a combined 27 points to Crittenden during the regular season.
“I thought both teams were relentless in not wanting to lose,” he said.
He thought getting Courtney and Johnson in early foul trouble proved pivotal in the contest.
“They did a nice job of getting the ball inside,” Doom said, referring to all the high-percentage shots his team got.

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