(Kenny Felt/exclusive to fstribune.com)
They did that.
It would also be pretty good for the Greyhounds if visiting Neosho County would do some things wrong, just to help out.
Neosho County did that. Quite a bit.
It wasn't until overtime -- when the Greyhounds were down to four players -- that the Panthers were able to take control of the contest. They walked away with a 58-50 win in Jayhawk Conference-Eastern Division play.
But Fort Scott may have come away with much more despite its 11th consecutive loss.
"I think they made a very good statement to our conference that they're ready to go," Fort Scott head coach Katie Reihmann said. "They're like a fireball: you get them out on the court and they just go, go, go.
"I'm very excited to see what will happen in the future. It showed that low numbers don't matter. We can play with five and we're fine."
Fort Scott (0-4 East, 3-11 overall) played the kind of game it needed to in order to be competitive. Meanwhile, Neosho County (2-0, 6-8) tried to shoot the Greyhounds out of the gym -- the Panthers put up 90 field-goal attempts -- but had trouble hitting all sorts of shots, including layups.
"We played our game plan to a T," Reihmann said. "Neosho doesn't shoot the three very well -- 3 for 18 tonight -- and we played zone on them to keep that down. We ran our offense right. We broke their press. We just played phenomenal."
The teams went back and forth in the first half -- the score was tied seven times. The Panthers went nearly six minutes without a field goal at one point despite the fact that they were putting up a shot at a rate of one every 30 seconds.
Rebecca Fisher's 3-point goal with 2:40 left in the half put the 'Hounds up 19-17. But Neosho's Alexis Haffenstein countered with a triple of her own with 46 seconds to go to give the Panthers the lead at intermission.
Katie Gorman scored the first two baskets of the second half for Neosho. But Fort Scott scored the next 11 points. Fisher hit two more threes to cap the run and make it 30-24 with 11:56 remaining.
Burgandie Lewis fouled out with 28 seconds left with Fort Scott up 46-43. The Panthers made 3 of 4 free throws in the final 28 seconds to force overtime.
Erika McKenzie hit a short jumper from the right side to give Fort Scott the first score of OT. But the Panthers scored the next 8 as the Greyhounds could only play a four-woman zone defense. At the other end, Neosho had the luxury of sometimes triple-teaming the ball handler.
McKenzie finished with 17 points for Fort Scott while Lewis had 12 points and 13 rebounds, Fisher finished with 11 points and Malori Gales had 10 points and 10 boards.
Gorman led Neosho County with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Hefenstein scored 12 points and Ashley Grant had 11.
NOTES -- Fort Scott is down to five players because Leah Zimmerman and Elizabeth Aller have to go back to the softball team, that being their primary sport, and due to injuries to Rachel Eldridge and D'Shawna Lee.
Eldridge is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Lee also has a knee injury but it will not be known until later in the week if and when she will be able to return....
NEOSHO COUNTY: Sheppard 2-6 2-2 6, Palmer 0-9 0-2 0, English 2-11 0-0 6, Grant 4-17 3-8 11, Farmer 0-1 1-2 1, A.Gorman 2-7 0-0 4, Carroll 0-5 0-0 0, Randle 2-7 0-0 4, Hefenstein 5-16 1-2 12, K.Gorman 6-11 2-4 14. TOTALS: 23-90 9-20 58.
FORT SCOTT: Horn 0-7 0-1 0, Fisher 4-8 0-0 11, Gales 1-12 8-10 10, McKenzie 5-18 7-8 17, Lewis 4-10 4-12 12. TOTALS: 14-55 19-31 50.
Halftime: Neosho County, 20-19. End of regulation: Tied, 46-46.
Three-point field goals: Neosho County 3-18 (English 2-10, Hefenstein 1-6, Palmer 0-1, Carroll 0-1), Fort Scott 3-12 (Fisher 3-6, Horn 0-1, Gales 0-2, McKenzie 0-3).
Total fouls: Neosho County 21, Fort Scott 15. Fouled out: Lewis. Technical fouls: none.
Rebounds: Neosho County 75 (Randle 11, K.Gorman 11), Fort Scott 38 (Lewis 13, Gales 10). Assists: Neosho County 7 (Sheppard 2, Palmer 2, Randle 2), Fort Scott 9 (Gales 4). Turnovers: Neosho County 16, Fort Scott 17. Steals: Neosho County 11 (Palmer 5), Fort Scott 11 (Lewis 5). Blocked shots: Neosho County 4 (Randle 2), Fort Scott 5 (Gales 3).