CLINTON — “We’re not giving it back.”
That was Scott High coach Jake Wright’s first remark when asked about his team’s 27-24 win over Anderson County in District 4-3A play Friday night.
Indeed, it was an ugly game; neither team could muster much offense. But the Lady Highlanders found their offense when it mattered most, and they were dominant on the defensive end of the court.
In fact, Scott High held Anderson County to just one field goal in the fourth quarter to complete its comeback against the Mavericks.
The Lady Highlanders had lost to Anderson County on their home court in December, a game that was winnable, but a game that threw them off their momentum.
It had taken Wright’s team until last week to rediscover that momentum. But now the Lady Highlanders have won three straight, culminated with Friday’s road win that left them in a second place tie in the district standings.
Moreover, the win assured that Scott High can finish no lower than .500 in district play. The last time that happened was 2010. And, even more importantly, the Lady Highlanders’ win, coupled with a stunning upset of Clinton by Halls, means that Scott will be playing for a regular season district championship when it hosts Clinton in one week. The last time the Lady Highlanders were in that position was in 1997 — when many of the current players’ mothers were themselves students at Scott High.
For the longest time Friday, it didn’t look like any of that would pan out. While neither team could muster much offense in the first half, Anderson County had the upper hand. That was mainly because the Mavs’ Lydia Meldrum had three 3-pointers in the first half.
As a result, Anderson County led 12-9 at the intermission.
But things hinged on the 3-point line in the second half. Scott High had just four field goals in the second half. But all of them were from the perimeter.
A look at the stat sheet wasn’t impressive. Scott High shot a season-low 16% from the field, and was just 5 of 20 from 3-point range. And the free throw line was a struggle, as well. Scott was only 3 of 6 from the line in the fourth quarter, and hit 57% for the game.
But defense was key. The Lady Highlanders also limited Anderson County to only four second half field goals, and shut down the perimeter after Meldrum proved deadly from there in the first half.
Scott High hit back-to-back 3-pointers — by Brittany Morrow and Zoey Terry — to start the fourth quarter. As a result, the Lady Highlanders went from three down to three up, and they never trailed after that — despite not hitting another field goal the rest of the way.
SCOTT (27): Terry 6, Lewallen 6, Morrow 5, Young 3, Lawson 3, Garrett 2, Duncan 2.
ANDERSON CO. (24): Meldrum 11, Kelly 5, Mustard 4, Alvis 2, Bullock 2.