Scott City duo hurts Delta

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 ~ Updated 5:15 AM
Scott City's Katie Hogan grabs a pass while surrounded by Delta's Samantha Bartels, left, Tori Burton (30) and Machela VanGennip during the first quarter Monday at Scott City. (Fred Lynch)

Scott City leaned on its overpowering duo to scoot past Delta.

Katie Hogan and Stephanie Essner combined for 44 points in the host Rams' 53-42 victory Monday.

"Whenever I get it, after I make a couple plays, then they all come to me and I kick it out," Hogan said. "Then I've got Steph out there shooting the 3-pointer. We just have a good inside and out game."

Hogan provided the biggest headaches for the Bobcats. The 6-foot-1 forward finished with 30 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocks. She went 13 of 18 (72 percent) from the floor.

"Last year, I had a really picky shot selection," Hogan said. "I wouldn't shoot if I wasn't completely open. This year coach told me I need to shoot more."

Delta's Kendra Burnett has her shot deflected by Scott City's Katie Hogan (11) and Melanie Lacey during the second quarter Monday at Scott City. (Fred Lynch)

While Hogan was picking apart Delta down low, Essner hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first half to help take some pressure off Hogan.

"It helps a lot because they had a huge focus on [Hogan] tonight, having two people on her most of the time," Essner said of her success from long range. "Us passing it around, kicking it, reversing, that was a big focus in the game, to get the defense out and lob to Katie."

Essner added seven assists and blocked five shots.

But Essner wasn't the only one connecting from behind the arc. Hogan hit a pair of 3-pointers in the game, and she said she feels comfortable shooting from long range if the defense backs off her.

"I can shoot, I just don't," she said. "I make them a lot. The other game against Portageville, I shot four of them and I made three. I just don't really shoot 3s. If I'm open, I just try to shoot."

Delta's Taylor Smith shoots as Scott City's Stephanie Essner defends during the second quarter.

Hogan scored 11 of her team's 18 points in the first quarter, and the Rams pushed their lead to 27-10 with 4 minutes, 54 seconds left before halftime. But Delta answered with a 10-2 run to close out the quarter and get within nine at the break.

The Bobcats went on another run, this time 9-2, at the end of the third quarter to get within 38-33.

"They're a really good team and they can have those big old spurts," Hogan said. "We wanted to stop them before they tied it up."

Delta's defense sparked the run and it forced Scott City into turnovers as the Rams (15-3) tried to get around the Bobcats' pressure. Scott City committed six turnovers in the third quarter.

"They upped their intensity on defense a little bit, but I just thought we got careless with the basketball," Scott City coach Kerry Thompson said.

The Rams fought off the Bobcats by scoring six of the first seven points in the fourth quarter, and Delta never got closer than eight points after that.

"You can't get down 17 because it takes so much out of you," Delta coach Mark Verticchio said.

Verticchio lamented his team's missed chances. The Bobcats (14-6) shot 27 percent from the field overall and 8 percent (1 of 12) from 3-point range. The Rams sealed inside, with Hogan and Essner swatting away shots in close, but they gave the Bobcats some room to shoot from inside the 3-point line.

"When they're giving you 15-footers and you can't make them, what can you do? Nothing," Verticchio said.

The Bobcats also weren't helped by senior Taylor Smith, who played despite being sick. The usually hot-handed guard only managed four points on 2 of 13 shooting. Freshman Machela VanGennip led the Bobcats with 22 points, including going 11 of 13 (85 percent) from the free-throw line. Verticchio was pleased with her performance, especially since he moved her to point guard since Smith was feeling ill.

"She's not a very good scorer from the point because she doesn't really have a big-time 3-point shot," he said. "She's much better coming off screens."

Monday's game was the third meeting between the two teams. Scott City rallied from a halftime deficit to down Delta 57-50 in the Chaffee Invitational championship game. The Bobcats got the better of the Rams 53-42 a month later in the Scott-Mississippi Conference tournament title game.

"They outhustled us and wanted it more than us," Verticchio said of Monday's game. "It's not a big deal because they beat us, then we wanted it more and beat them."

Hogan said her team learned from its loss to the Bobcats in the Scott-Miss tournament.

"I'm not glad that they beat us, but it woke us up," she said. "It let us know we can't take anything for granted."

Scott City1811915--53

DELTA (42) -- Machela VanGennip 22, Kendra Burnett 2, Taylor Smith 4, Tori Burton 2, Courtney Burton 4, Samantha Bartels 4, Ashley Glaus 2. FG 14, FT 13-15, F 14. (3-pointers: VanGennip 1. Fouled out: none)

SCOTT CITY (53) -- Ashley Brant 6, Katie Hogan 30, Stephanie Essner 14, Melanie Lacey 1, Stacey Heisserer 2. FG 21, FT 7-15, F 11. (3-pointers: Hogan 2, Essner 2. Fouled out: Lacey)

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