FSCC women see season end too soon

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

WICHITA -- Fort Scott Community College's women's basketball team was playing its best at the end of the season. Friday afternoon at Wichita State University's Koch Arena, they faced Jayhawk Conference-Eastern Division champion Labette in the quarterfinals of the Region VI Tournament and had their best effort of the three meetings with the No. 21-ranked Cardinals this season.

The Greyhounds fell 72-62 to the Cardinals Friday. Labette (31-3) went on to beat No. 15-ranked Western Division runner-up Hutchinson in Sunday's semifinal, 54-49, then knocked off 13th-ranked Western Division champion Seward County, 54-49, Monday night to win the Region VI title and earn a berth in the NJCAA National Tournament.

In the first two meetings between the Cardinals and Greyhounds (14-17), Labette jumped out to big leads each time. Friday, it appeared they were going to do so again after scoring the game's first 10 points.

Once the Greyhounds settled down, they were able to keep things closer at halftime -- Labette led 36-25 -- than in their first two meetings.

"We just talked about how that first 10 minutes of play and how us seeming a bit lost took a toll on us early," Fort Scott head coach Diana Couch said. "We really didn't have many adjustments to make considering we relaxed and got into a flow going into the half. I think the team saw what we could do it and realized we could have a shot at this game.

"We talked about needing to control the boards to even have a shot at this game and I had a little talk with Brittany Demery 'cause she had only contributed 4 points to the fight. Otherwise we wanted halftime over so we could keep going."

However, Labette had other plans and started the second half with another spurt. Soon, the Greyhounds trailed again by about 20 points.

"I had thoughts for a moment that our team would focus in on that scoreboard too much and the numbers on it and just settle (for any shot)," Couch said. "But with Valencia Kelly on the court ,that sure wasn't happening. She really took this team on her back. We knew Labette would face guard her, so we took her out of the picture offensively until the end of our set plays. It worked well and I think the defense got tired of just standing there looking at her. Then the next thing you know, she was off and getting it done."

Kelly hit a 3-point shot from the top of the key to spark a 17-8 run. Defensive stops converted into points at the other end allowed the Greyhounds to chip away until they were within 6 points with under three minutes remaining.

The situation became one of those where Fort Scott had to foul to stop the clock. The Greyhounds missed a few one-and-one opportunities of their own and time ran out.

Kelly led the Greyhounds with 28 points and Demery bounced back to finish with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Kellindra Zachery led Labette with 22 points while Satoria Bell and Philicia Kelly each scored 17 for Labette.

Just to be in the regional quarterfinals was a triumph in itself for the Greyhounds, who were picked to finish in last place in the East in the pre-season coaches poll. They instead earned the No. 5 seed from the East in Region VI, then went on the road to bounce Cloud County -- which was nationally-ranked itself just two weeks earlier -- in the first round of the tournament.

"Before we even picked up a ball on this court we had met our goal," Couch said. "We are just taking this all in and enjoying the accomplishments we have made this season. The first day I met with my new team at Fort Scott, I told them our main goal was to step on the court at Wichita State. They never forgot that goal through it all."

Monday: Labette 54, Seward County 49.

The Region VI championship featured the Jayhawk Conference's top scoring offenses. Seward County (31-3) was No. 1 with 78.5 points per game while Labette was second at 76.1 points.

The game, however, was more reflective of the team's scoring defenses. Seward County allowed only 55.9 points per game this season, fourth in the KJCCC. Labette allowed 57 points even, which ranked No. 5.

Labette's rebounding gave it the edge, as the Cardinals outboarded the Saints, 49-34. Bell had 19 points and 11 rebounds while Zachery scored 15 points and grabbed 14 boards.

Rachel Barnes, the KJCCC's leading scorer this season (20.7 points per game) was held to 13 by Labette. She made just 4 of 10 field-goal attempts. Nadia Rosario added 15 points for the Saints.

Men's championship: Butler 72, Coffeyville 60.

Caleb Walker scored 26 points for KJCCC-Western Division champion Butler (29-5) Monday night while Troy Pierce added 11 points and brought down 12 rebounds.

East runner-up Coffeyville (22-12) was led by Kevin Broussard's 13 points. Stacy Wilson and Jermaine Bransford each scored1 11 points.

Friday's Game

(5E) FORT SCOTT: Bloodworth 0-0 0-0 0, Teich 1-4 0-0 3, Hampton 3-16 2-3 9, Mattox 1-3 0-0 3, Demery 6-17 2-3 14, V.Kelly 9-18 6-8 28, Hathaway 0-0 0-0 0, Okoronkwo 0-0 0-0 0, Jackson 3-4 0-0 6. TOTALS: 23-62 10-14 62.

(1E) LABETTE: Bell 8-13 1-1 17, Zachery 9-18 4-6 22, Sunde 1-3 0-0 3, Smith 1-6 0-0 2, P,Kelly 7-14 2-5 17, Henderson 0-1 1-2 1, Andrews 0-1 2-2 2, Pledger 3-6 0-0 6, Johnson 1-2 0-0 2. TOTALS: 30-64 10-16 42.

Halftime: Labette, 36-25.

Three-point field goals: Fort Scott 6-24 (V.Kelly 4-6, Teich 1-4, Hampton 1-8, Mattox 0-1, Demery 0-5), Labette 2-8 (Sunde 1-2, P.Kelly 1-2, Smith 1-2, Pledger 0-2).

Total fouls: Fort Scott 14, Labette 16. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: None.

Rebounds: Fort Scott 37 (Demery 10), Labette 42 (P.Kelly 7, Pledger 7). Assists: Fort Scott 11 (Hampton 4), Labette 17 (Zachery 9). Turnovers: Fort Scott 19, Labette 17. Steals: Fort Scott 9 (Hampton 3), Labette 11 (Sunde 5). Blocked shots: Fort Scott none, Labette 5 (Zachery 3).

Monday's Game

(1E) LABETTE: Bell 7-14 4-4 19, Zachery 5-19 5-8 15, Sunde 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 6-15 2-2 14, Kelly 1-4 2-2 4, Henderson 0-0 0-0 0, Andrews 0-0 0-2 0, Pledger 1-2 0-0 2, Johnson 0-1 0-2 0. 20-55 13-20 54.

(1W) SEWARD COUNTY: Junior 3-10 2-2 8, Skomal 0-2 0-0 0, Washington 3-10 2-2 8, Ginther 0-0 0-0 0, Lassley 3-12 2-3 9, Spresser 0-3 0-0 0, Barnes 4-10 5-6 13, Robinett 0-0 0-0 0, Rosario 5-12 1-2 11. TOTALS: 18-59 12-15 49.

Halftime: Labette, 28-19.

Three-point field goals: Labette 1-6 (Bell 1-3, Pledger 0-1, Smith 0-2), Seward County 1-10 (Lassley 1-6, Junior 0-2. Barnes 0-2).

Total fouls: Labette 15, Seward County 15. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: None.

Rebounds: Labette 49 (Zachery 14, Bell 11), Seward County 34 (Roasario 7). Assists: Labette 10 (Smith 4), Seward County 8 (Junior 3, Barnes 3). Turnovers: Labette 17, Seward County 12. Steals: Labette 6 (6 with 1 each), Seward County 11 (Junior 5). Blocked shots: Labette 1 (Zachery), Seward County 2 (Rosario 2).