By Nick Gonnella Daily News
Greensburg Daily News
---- — A game that appeared out of reach for the South Decatur girls basketball team in the second half turned out to be a positive outcome Thursday for the visiting Lady Cougars.
South trailed by nine points late in the third quarter, but the Lady Cougars roared back to post a 54-49 win over host Morristown. South improves to 4-5 overall and 2-3 in the Mid-Hoosier Conference, its second straight MHC win.
“It was a big, needed win for us!” exclaimed South head coach Jessi McConnell. “Morristown is a very strong team.”
The win was McConnell’s first conference win on the road as coach.
South led 15-13 after the first eight minutes, but trailed 28-27 at the half. McConnell’s crew trailed by nine points at one point in the third period, but the Lady Cougars fought back and outscored Morristown 15-6 in the fourth quarter.
“We fought neck-and-neck through three quarters, but finally outscored them in the fourth,” said McConnell.
South was strong in the rebounding department, pulling down 41 boards. That dominance on the glass helped the Lady Cougars in the final eight minutes.
“Our goal was to own the boards and push it up the floor,” said McConnell. “We did well on both. Although our free throws are still a work in progress, we are finally finding other people to score and more are stepping up to the plate.”
Another key factor for South was maintaining its composure, despite three starters playing with four fouls apiece.
“That was crucial as well,” she added.
Seniors Julia Miller and Ashley Johannigman each tallied double-doubles. Miller scored 17 points (8-for-11 from the floor) and posted 12 rebounds, while Johannigman scored 11 and led South with 13 rebounds.
Freshman Stacy Fox stepped up during South’s comeback. She scored 12 points, including a second-half 3-pointer. Fox shot 7-for-8 from the foul line. Freshman Brooke Helms followed with eight points. Junior Megan Niese scored six points.
Senior guard Courtney Billingsley chipped in two rebounds.
Rebounds: Fox 5, Niese 4, Billingsley 2, Olivia Watkins 1.
Assists: Johannigman 5, Niese 3, Miller 2.
Steals: Johannigman 3, Miller 1, Niese 1, Fox 1.
The South junior varsity team fell 41-18 in the first game. South trailed 9-1 after the first quarter and 26-10 at halftime. The third-quarter score was 36-12.
Morgan Eden led South with seven points. Olivia Fry followed with four (including a 3-pointer), while Olivia Watkins, Sydney Callahan and Sierra Deppe each scored two. Mackenzie Kopplin chipped in a free throw.
Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.