LCHS girls triumph

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 12, 2009

Lawrence County girls coach Vicki Rutland was presented with abig victory Friday night in Sinclair Gymnasium. Rutland’s LadyCougars clipped the Brookhaven Lady Panthers 38-35, earning Rutlandher first win over BHS in four years at the helm.

The Lady Cougars (10-6, 3-3) got a 1-2 offensive punch fromTiarra Griffin and Samantha Showers who scored 13 points apiece.Defensively, they caused 23 BHS turnovers as the Lady Panthers fellto 7-8 overall and 2-3 in the Division 6-4A race.

“In the second half our kids picked it up and started playingtogether,” said Rutland. “I’m proud of our comeback.”

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Rutland saw her team trailing Brook 20-10 at halftime. The thirdquarter was remarkable as LCHS outscored the hosts 17-3. ThePanthers were unable to score going 0-for-8 from the free throwline and and 0-for-8 from the field before Melaysia Burnett sank afree throw at the 4:24 mark, giving BHS a 21-20 lead.

Despite shouts of encouragement from BHS coach Freda Craft, thePanthers were unable to end their scoring drought. They gained a31-31 tie with 4:37 left to play on a baseline jumper by KearraCollins but LCHS would not be denied.

Victoria Harris sank a short, baseline jumper and Griffin cashedin a steal with a layup, giving LCHS a 35-31 advantage with 3:34left to play. Griffin also had 7 rebounds and 3 steals in thevictory.

“Brookhaven is a well-coached team,” said Rutland. “We outscoredthem but they played hard.”

Both teams struggled at the free throw line, making 33 and 35percent respectively. They both shot 39 percent from the field.

Brook got a game-high 15 points from Collins at guard. She alsohad 4 assists.