The Southwestern Lady Warriors played host to the Lady Patriots of Lincoln County last night, and an intense battle at the Wigwam would chalk one up forthe home team, 53-39.

“I thought we played very hard and full-hearted tonight. A lot of times we play up to our competition, (Lincoln) is a good team,” Southwestern head coach Tim Rice said. “Any time you play (Lincoln) you know you are going to face a lot of double teams and a lot of pressure, we knew we had to stand up to it and our girls did a good job of that tonight.”

During the first quarter, all indications pointed to a rough, tough game with lots of scoring. Well, the rough, tough prediction rang true, but as for the scoring; the following three quarters were packed with turnovers, by both squads, and free throws with very few field goals to speak of.

This is the second game the Lady Warriors had to do without starting guard, and seven points-per-game scorer, sophomore Ashley Fowler due to a knee injury.

“(Fowler) is one of our better shooters. Anytime you lose one of your starters, it affects your bench too,” Rice said of his injured guard.

“Hopefully, we’ll have her back in a couple of weeks, but tonight I am really proud of the girls we had. They came out and played hard on the boards, we out rebounded (Lincoln) by 18. I feel like that was the turning point in the game.”

Much of the board work was done on the offensive end, thanks in no small part, to Heather Overton; who had seven offensive rebounds en route to a double-double performance with 11 points and 12 total rebounds.

The first quarter started with the Lady Warriors winning the tip; which led to a Jasi Flynn three-ball. The subsequent possessions for the Lady Patriots resulted in turnovers that led to a bucket by Devin Fothergill and a tough inside shot by Stephanie Salyers. It would be a 7-2 run by Southwestern in the first two minutes and fifteen seconds.

The latter part of the quarter is where Overton would go to work, scoring three consecutive inside buckets followed by a Chasidy Zimmerman trey. The period would end with a solid possession by Lincoln County that resulted in Savannah Lane hitting from downtown for three of her 11 points on the night making the score 18-13.

The ensuing quarters would be offensively challenged due to the tremendous defensive pressure applied by the Lady Patriots, but for the most part pressure was too tremendous.

“They didn’t give us too many opportunities to get a shot off. Every time we got it to center court they were trapping us and fouling us. I think they wanted us to go to the line,” said Rice.

The second and third quarters would have scoring droughts of over three minutes by both teams, and the second quarter would only yield one field goal for the Lady Warriors. It would be a parade to the charity stripe that would account for five of the eight points Southwestern put up in the second frame. It would be a six-point performance in the third, with a scoring drought of four and a half minutes by the Lady Warriors. It would only be a six-point difference at half, with Southwestern leading 26-20, and a slimmer margin after the third quarter with the score 32-27 in favor of the Lady Warriors.

The lead would stretch in the fourth quarter with multiple trips to the free throw line, as the Lady Warriors would be in the bonus two minutes into the final stanza.

“We went to our spread game with a 10 or 11 point lead and tried to keep the ball away from (Lincoln) and get to the line and make our free throws,” stated Rice. “We didn’t make as many as we wanted to, but we made enough to keep the lead.”

Southwestern would hit on 13-out-of-22 free throws in the fourth quarter, and 18-for-33 from the charity stripe on the game. Devin Fothergill would score seven of her game high 16 points from the free throw line; five of them in the fourth quarter. It wasn’t until a minute thirty-eight remaining that a Lady Warrior would score on a shot that wasn’t a free throw, as Zimmerman would score the quarter’s first field goal for Southwestern.

The win improves the Lady Warriors to 12-7 on the year and extends their win streak to six games.

“We kept our (home) record in tact; we want to finish the (12th) Region undefeated at home,” said Rice. “This (12th) Region is up for grabs, and I told our girls if we play with the same intensity as tonight we have as good a chance as any of representing this (12th) Region in the state tournament.”

LC 13 7 7 12 39

SW 18 8 6 21 53

LC—Miller 16, Lane 11, Brown 4, Martin, Bustle, Spears and Grant 2

SW—Devin Fothergill 16, Zimmerman 11, Overton 11, Flynn 9, Salyers 5, Danay Fothergill 1

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