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Women shatter losing streak, 74-65

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sophomores Burgandie Lewis (32) and Erika McKenzie celebrate after Fort Scott Community College's women broke a 15-game losing streak Wednesday night.
(Kenny Felt/Exclusive to the Tribune)
After three games this season, Fort Scott Community College's women were 3-0. But then first-year head coach Katie Reihmann lost some players to injury, was forced to suspend others and removed others from the roster. And that changed the dynamic of the team completely.

The Greyhounds had lost 15 consecutive games since making those changes, their longest losing streak since a 14-gamer in the 1998-99 season. But they broke that streak in a huge way with a 74-65 stunner over Brown Mackie in a Region VI Division II seeding game at Arnold Arena Wednesday night.

It was their highest point total of the season. They hadn't scored more than 57 during their skid.

"They came out right away with that instant energy that we haven't had in a while," Reihmann said. "I think it shocked Brown Mackie a little bit. Tonight, we just had phenomenal energy."

Reihmann's team avenged an 81-50 loss at Salina that took place on December 8 and improves their record to 1-5 in D-II and 4-15 overall.

Fort Scott never trailed and the game was only tied twice -- at 0-0 and at 58-58 following a 15-4 run by the Lions (3-4, 17-6) with 6:13 remaining.

But Fort Scott's posts, Burgandie Lewis and D'Shawna Lee, kicked the 'Hounds back into gear as they combined for 10 points in 13-2 run that put them back ahead, 71-61, with 54 seconds left.

The six-woman team -- recent addition Kayla Stewart isn't available on Wednesday nights due to her EMT classes -- had to find a balance between maintaining the high energy level that was sparking then while not becoming too worn out to finish things off.

"They worked well together tonight," Reihmann said. "They kept their energy level up together and they never brought it too high and went overboard and also kept it up the entire game."

Lewis made 11 of 16 shots from the floor and finished with 22 points before fouling out with 2:27 to go and Lee scored 20 points and grabbed 22 rebounds. Both exploited wide-open shots they got when the Lions failed to get back after the 'Hounds got through the full-court press.

Lee had 13 rebounds at halftime, when Fort Scott held a 39-33 lead.

"I've told them for weeks now that if we just box out, we'll be a great rebounding team," Reihmann said. "(Lee) got amazing rebounds at key moments that we needed."

The 'Hounds found themselves ahead 24-14 at the halfway point of the first half after Lewis and Lee made back-to-back baskets. The lead remained at about 8 to 10 points most of the rest of the half until Brown Mackie's Shatavia Smith made two baskets in the last 30 seconds to bring the Lions within 39-33.

Lee and Lewis combined to score Fort Scott's first 10 points of the second half as the lead grew to 49-36 with 15 minutes remaining.

On the defensive side, the 'Hounds were frustrating the Lions so much that for a short time, it appeared as though they had given up on running an offense and were taking the first possible shot. A lot of those were ill-advised 3-pointers -- Brown Mackie was just 4 of 21 from behind the arc -- and Fort Scott kept getting rebounds.

But a couple of 3's from Ericka Torres helped the Lions on their mid-second half run. Then Mackenzie Coffey scored a couple of stickbacks off teammates' misses. The second one resulted in a 3-point play that tied the game.

Guards Erika McKenzie and Malori Gales each added 14 points for the Greyhounds, who shot 47 percent from the field, making 28 of 59 field-goal attempts. Brown Mackie made only 35 percent of its shots on 25 of 72.

Kayla Mollere led the Lions with 15 points on 7-of-13 shooting and hauled down 11 rebounds. Coffey added 14, Torres finished with 12 and Tannon Slater had 10 before fouling out.

Fort Scott won the battle of the boards, 44-40. Lewis had 8 rebounds and Gales came down with 7.

McKenzie dished 6 of Fort Scott's 15 assists. Gales picked up 6 steals.

Fort Scott has a week off before Independence visits for a Jayhawk Conference-Eastern Division contest next Wednesday night. Tip off will be at 5:30 p.m.

BROWN MACKIE: Garcia 1-9 0-0 3, Grillo 0-0 0-0 0, Mollere 7-13 1-1 15, Arredondo 1-7 0-0 2, Bledsoe 0-0 0-0 0, Slater 2-12 5-6 10, Torres 4-11 2-2 12, Smith 4-9 1-2 9, Coffey 6-11 2-3 14. TOTALS: 25-72 11-14 65.

FORT SCOTT: Horn 0-0 0-0 0, Fisher 1-5 2-4 4, Gales 3-10 7-7 14, McKenzie 5-13 3-4 14, Lee 8-15 4-5 20, Lewis 11-16 0-1 22. TOTALS: 28-59 16-21 74.

Halftime: Fort Scott, 39-33.

Three-point field goals: Brown Mackie 4-21 (Torres 2-8, Garcia 1-4, Slater 1-6, Arredondo 0-3), Fort Scott 2-8 (McKenzie 1-2, Gales 1-3, Fisher 0-3).

Total fouls: Brown Mackie 24, Fort Scott 11. Fouled out: Slater, Lewis. Technical fouls: Slater.

Rebounds: Brown Mackie 40 (Mollere 11), Fort Scott 44 (Lee 21). Assists: Brown Mackie 8 (Slater 5), Fort Scott 15 (McKenzie 6). Turnovers: Brown Mackie 15, Fort Scott 22. Steals: Brown Mackie 11 (Slater 4), Fort Scott 8 (Gales 6). Blocked shots: Brown Mackie 1 (Slater), Fort Scott 4 (Lee 2).

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