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Delta does it again in tourney play
The Delta girls basketball team was dominated on the boards Saturday in the championship of the Scott-Mississippi Conference tournament, but sophomore Jodi Menz's rebound and putback with 15 seconds remaining proved to be the difference in a 35-34 nail-biter over Scott County Central at Oran.
The top-seeded Bobcats remained undefeated and improved to 12-0. This was the third tournament title for Delta this season, and the second straight conference title.
Third-seeded Scott County Central opened its biggest lead of the game, 34-30, with about 2:30 remaining before letting the game slip away. Following a Bravettes turnover, Kaci Menz hit a 3-pointer with a minute remaining to cut the lead to 34-33.
Scott County only took off about 10 seconds on its next possession before throwing up an errant shot that Delta corralled.
"We had several big plays," Delta coach Randy White said. "Ashley Deprow drew a big charge. ... We forced a big turnover, Kaci Menz hit a big 3-pointer and Jodi Menz got a big rebound and a putback. Those were three big plays in a row."
Those plays bailed out the Bobcats, who had earlier this year won the Red Devil Invitational at Chaffee and won their own New Year's tournament last weekend by beating Oran 43-40.
Their winning streak was in danger after Brianna Johnson sparked the Bravettes in the fourth quarter. She gave Scott County its first lead of the second half at 30-28 following a steal. Johnson had seven of Scott County's nine fourth-quarter points, including its final basket which put the Bravettes up by four.
Scott County took off nearly 2 minutes before Johnson's basket and appeared in control of the game. The Bravettes had a chance to go up six when Deprow drew a charge.
"We threw the ball away at crucial times," Scott County coach Semona Penrod said. "We got a little relaxed. We just have some things we have to fix. They're capable."
Senior guard Brittney Peet had a chance to give the Bravettes a win at the buzzer, but her runner went off the back of the rim. Scott County nearly turned the ball over after Delta regained the lead and had to inbound the ball with 2.4 seconds remaining to set up Peet's shot.
"I'm not used to us putting up 34 points on the board," Penrod said. "We have to have more points on the board. We made a lot of mental mistakes today."
Neither offense was able to get on track Saturday. Delta had trouble at times with Scott County's full-court pressure, and rarely got a second chance after a miss. Jodi Menz was the one exception on the glass for Delta, finishing with 11 rebounds.
Without a true size advantage for either team, Scott County used its quickness to run down rebounds. The Bravettes were unable to take advantage of their second chances, though.
"You just have to make good out of those rebounds, and we didn't shoot real well tonight," Penrod said.
Kaci Menz led Delta with 10 points after scoring 34 in the semifinals. Jodi Menz and Kayla Seabaugh added seven points apiece.
"We had Kayla Seabaugh come in, and her defense has steadily gotten better," White said. "She plays on balance offensively, and when she can come in and play good defense she does a good job for us."
Jamisha Williams led Scott County with 10 points and Johnson added nine.
This was the second meeting between the teams this season, both Delta wins. The teams have met in the sectional round each of the past three years, with Delta winning the last two. There will be at least one more meeting between the teams in the regular-season finale for both teams, while a Class 1 sectional rematch likely would depend on the outcome of a Scott County Central-Oran district game.
Kelly tops Oran
In the third-place game, Kelly beat Oran 45-32. Nikki Weiny and Debra Hall led the second-seeded Hawks with 10 points apiece.
Erica Michelsen led No. 4 Oran with 12 points and Callie Kielhofner had nine.
Delta 35, Scott County Central 34
SCOTT COUNTY (34) -- Jamisha Williams 10, Brianna Johnson 9, Brittney Peet 5, Samantha Jones 4, Markita Mosley 4, Amanda Lawless 2. FG 15, FT 3-8, F 16 (3-pointers: Johnson 1. Fouled out: none)
DELTA (35) -- Kaci Menz 10, Jodi Menz 7, Kayla Seabaugh 7, Ashley Deprow 4, Sarah Keys 3, Tiffany Amelunke 2, Allison Burger 2. FG 11, FT 10-17, F 13 (3-pointers: K. Menz 2, Keys 1. Fouled out: none)
Kelly 45, Oran 32
ORAN (32) -- Wendy Eftink 2, Callie Kielhofner 9, Erica Michelsen 12, Jodi Urhahn 2, Tiffany Glastetter 7. FG 14, FT 3-8, F 20 (3-pointers: Kielhofner. Fouled out: Urhahn)
KELLY (45) -- Sara Ruff 7, Brittney Ponder 5, Kayla Cissell 4, Lauren Gean 2, Katee Moore 6, Nikki Weiny 10, Ashley Vetter 1, Debra Hall 10. FG 15, FT 15-28, F 14 (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none)