CLINTON, Tenn. | Consistency. That’s what Scott High head coach Jake Wright implored from the officials after another loss to Clinton on another night that saw a lopsided disparity in free throw shooting for the Dragons.
Wright, who doesn’t often question officiating, did so after his team’s loss to Clinton at Highlander Gymnasium last month, saying the officials dictated the outcome of the game.
Friday’s game felt like deja vu in Clinton, as the Dragons won 47-43 in overtime in a game that again featured a lopsided foul count.
The Lady Highlanders were whistled for nearly twice as many fouls as Clinton — 26 to 15. And the final free throw tally was more than twice as many for the home team — 39 to 15. The free throw tally was 30 to 7 in the second half alone.
Neither team shot their free throws particularly well. Scott High made only five of its 15 attempts, a horrid 33% night at the line. Clinton hit only 19 of 39 attempts.
Nevertheless, the free throw line was the difference. And the foul calls resulted in the early exit of Scott High’s Brittany Morrow. The sophomore fouled out in the fourth quarter with 13 points and five rebounds, leaving the Lady Highlanders without their point guard for the crucial final few minutes of regulation and overtime.
As bad as it was, Scott High had a chance to win the game in regulation. The Lady Highlanders battled back from five points down in the final minutes. Rachel Garrett, who finished with nine rebounds, along with Brianna Jeffers, hit a 3-point shot with 90 seconds remaining to tie the game. Neither team scored for the remainder of regulation.
Scott High had two opportunities to win the game late, including at the very end, winning possession with eight seconds remaining. But Clinton’s defense prevented the Lady Highlanders from getting a shot off, forcing overtime.
Clinton out-scored Scott 9-5 in the overtime period.
Morrow was the high scorer for the Lady Highlanders, despite the early exit. She also had four steals, and was named the Trophy Masters Hustle Award winner.
Zoey Terry was named the First National Bank Player of the Game, after recording a team-high five steals and helping to flip the momentum of the game with her play in the second quarter.
Wright was not pleased when he spoke to the IH Sports Network after the game, as the Lady Highlander coach found himself wondering what might have been with an even whistle for the second time this season against his team’s district rival.
The two teams will meet again on the same court in the District 4-3A semifinals next month, as Clinton will finish second in the district standings and Scott High will finish third.
SCOTT (43): Morrow 13, Lawson 8, Terry 7, Garrett 4, R. Price 4, Jeffers 4, Lewis 3.CLINTON (47): York 13, Davis 10, Gamble 8, Carmichael 7, Burroughs 6, Moody 3.