FORT SCOTT -- Fort Scott Community College's women started off its season on a roller coaster Friday night. The Greyhounds' offense alternated between sluggish and explosive during stretches but FSCC prevailed 56-45 over Southwestern Iowa on the first night of the Gladbach Classic at Arnold Arena.
In the night's opening contest, Independence defeated Crowder, 67-51.
The Greyhounds had trouble executing their offense. Sometimes, they'd put up a shot as quickly as they could. Other times, they seemed to overpass the ball.
"They were looking to run (the offense) more than they were to score," Fort Scott head coach Diana Couch said. "I told them at halftime that I liked the execution. But we kept for the looking for the first option to score and there were more options. Then there were times you'd see people open but there would be three or four passes when we should have scored right off the bat."
Jolee Sharp led the Greyhounds with 18 points as she made 7 of 10 shots from the floor. Fort Scott's bench scored 22 points, which Couch saw as a good sign.
The 'Hounds made just one of their first 13 shots from the field and trailed early, 6-4. But Sharp sparked a 13-0 run that put Fort Scott in front for good. But then the offense slowed right down again and scored just 6 points in the final 11 minutes of the half.
Amber Thomas made a pair of free throws with no time left on the clock to bring the Spartans (0-1) within 23-20 at the break.
Fort Scott's defense was somewhat more consistent, holding Southwestern Iowa to 35-percent shooting on 18 of 51 for the evening. The Spartans did not make a single 3-point shot in 14 attempts.
"It was very slow and methodical but it was doing what it had to do," Couch said of the defense. "I just think they needed more energy. We have to figure out why we don't have that because we have it in practice."
The 'Hounds scored eight of the first 10 points of the second half as they extended the lead to 31-22. But a five-minute stretch without a field goal saw the Spartans get within 40-36 with 5:34 remaining.
Fort Scott had one last run left and it was enough. Fort Scott High grad Megan McDermed scored her first collegiate basket to kick off a 12-2 run that made it 56-41 with 52 seconds to go.
Fort Scott shot 36 percent from the field for the evening, making 21 of 59 attempts. They shot 24 percent in the first half (8 of 33) and 50 percent in the second (13 of 26).
Brittany Pearl added 8 points off the bench for the Greyhounds. Jamee Miner led the Spartans with 14 points while Kristine Smith followed up with 12.
Fort Scott outrebounded SWICC, 43-37, as Jataeva Arnold hauled down 9 boards and Kelsa Noeller brought down 8. Sharp had 3 assists and 2 steals.
Southwestern Iowa committed 21 turnovers to Fort Scott's 20.
Independence (1-0) never trailed Crowder, starting the game on an 11-2 run as the Roughriders (1-1) missed their first 7 shots from the field.
Indy led 28-9 with 7:35 left in the first half but Crowder scored 14 of the next 16 to get within seven. The Pirates got the lead back up to 37-25 at halftime.
Crowder got within 44-37 with 12:02 left in the game. Indy held the Riders without a field goal for the next 5 1/2 minutes in building the lead back up to 59-40 with 6:24 left.
Dominique Mosley scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Independence. Jordan Hunter scored 14 to lead Crowder.
Today's slate begins with Independence facing Southwestern Iowa at 2 p.m. The Greyhounds will face Crowder at 4 p.m.
"I think we're going to match up with them pretty well," Couch said. "I think they're about as athletic as we are. I think they run a lot of set offenses like us. So I think it's going to come down to the defensive possessions for each of us."