Scranton emerges victor against Cowgirls

SCRANTON — When Killdeer and Hettinger-Scranton met the first time this season during the first round of the Roughrider Tournament in December, the Cowgirls built a huge advantage, only to have the Night Hawks rally late and escape with a win.

By EDDIE HIBBS III

For the Herald

Posted Feb. 1, 2013

SCRANTON — When Killdeer and Hettinger-Scranton met the first time this season during the first round of the Roughrider Tournament in December, the Cowgirls built a huge advantage, only to have the Night Hawks rally late and escape with a win.

That wasn’t the case Monday, Jan. 28, as Killdeer built a big lead early. Unlike the first meeting, the Cowgirls escaped with a 51-44 win in high school girls basketball action.

“They beat us at the end the first time we played,” said Killdeer head coach Sarah Doe after the game. “I saw déjà vu’ for a moment when they started to climb back into it.”

The Cowgirls built a commanding 22-point advantage midway through the third quarter when sophomore Jessica Starr connected on a shot, giving Killdeer a 36-14 lead with 5:25 on the clock. Starr’s basket capped a 10-2 run by the Cowgirls to open the second half.

The Night Hawks bounced back and finished the period with an 8-2 run – keyed by a pair of baskets including a trey from sophomore Casey Joppa – to enter the final frame down 38-22.

Hettinger-Scranton continued to cut into the deficit until Joppa’s second trey with 66 seconds left in regulation. It pulled the Night Hawks within five, 47-42.

During the next 28 seconds of play, Killdeer sophomore Alison Scheetz sank 5-of-6 free throws to seal the deal for the Cowgirls.

“Allison has been working hard on her shot, and it really paid off for her tonight,” Doe said.

While Scheetz provided the late-game heroics, junior teammate Morgan LeMieux was an unstoppable offensive force for most of the game for the Cowgirls. LeMieux tallied a game-high 21 points, including her team’s first 11 points of the second quarter.

“She was on fire. It was definitely Morgan’s night,” Doe added. “The offense was working in her favor, so we kept feeding her the ball, which opened up the offense later for other players.

“Morgan works very hard for every point. She is a great model for our team.”

The coach added that LeMieux was key to several other facets of the game, including defense, rebounding and helping bring the ball up the court.

The Cowgirls finished with three players scoring in double figures. Starr finished with 12 points while Scheetz tallied 10.

Poor shooting proved to be the eventual downfall of the Night Hawks, both from the floor and from the charity stripe. Collectively, the Night Hawks made only 7-of-20 free throws and made only 4-of-33 shots from the floor in the first half.

“I know they weren’t very good,” said Hettinger-Scranton head coach Kelly Pierce on his team’s free throw woes. “We have been hitting at a pretty high clip, but not tonight.”

The Night Hawks never led in the game and trailed 11-1 before making their first basket on an offensive put-back.

A balanced attack by the Night Hawks helped Hettinger-Scranton get back into the game during the final stanza. Senior Bailey Sadowsky led the Night Hawks with 12 points while junior Kaitlin Reitz and Joppa each finished with nine.

For Coach Doe, she informed the team after the game the “newspaper man” was outside the locker room, waiting to interview her. She asked them what she should tell him.

“They said, ‘Tell him we’re not a team, but a family,’” Doe said. “The players support one another and everyone has a role. Tonight, we had three players on the bench in foul trouble and we had to rely on our bench and they came in and did an awesome job.”

If the two teams meet again, it will be during regional tournament play during the second week of March at Trinity. In fact, Doe expects to see the Night Hawks again.

“Obviously, both teams have to get through districts, but I expect to see Hettinger-Scranton at Trinity,” Doe said. “Tonight, we were just better on offense than they were.”

For Pierce, he wouldn’t mind seeing the Cowgirls again, either.

“One of the things we realize is that the season is a marathon, not a sprint,” Pierce said. “Every time we step on the floor before the (playoffs) – it’s just practice. We hope to be hitting on all cycles come districts.”

For Killdeer the district tournament is also at Trinity. For Hettinger-Scranton, the district tournament is at Bowman. Both tournaments start the last week of February.

Killdeer returns to action Saturday with a home contest against Beach. On Monday, Feb. 4, both squads are in action as Killdeer entertains New England while Hettinger-Scranton travels to Buffalo to play Harding County.


Share this post