The South Decatur girls basketball team returned to the court Saturday for the first time since Dec. 21.
The visiting Lady Cougars fell to Trinity Lutheran 59-55 after leading late in the fourth quarter. In more recent action, South defeated visiting South Ripley 55-46. The win signaled South’s first since Dec. 19.
The Lady Cougars trailed early in Monday’s game, but led 9-6 at the end of the first quarter. South Ripley tied the game at 13-all early in the second quarter, but an aggressive offensive showing from senior Ashley Johannigman put her team on top for good. Johannigman scored off a steal and later added two rebound baskets to give South a 21-17 lead. Junior Megan Niese had broken the tie with a jumper at the 4:38 mark of the quarter.
South expanded its lead to eight, 28-20, with a 3-for-4 effort at the foul line. Freshman Brooke Helms followed with a coast-to-coast score.
Three-pointers from seniors Emily Cumberworth and Samantha Wilhoit closed the gap to four halfway through the third. Miller, though, scored on a putback and Helms fed to Miller after a jumpball to make it a nine-point game at 38-29.
The Raiders climbed back to their closest margin since the second quarter. Sophomore Elizabeth Bodenberg’s triple made it 43-40 with 5:30 left in the game. However, South answered with a 10-2 run and secured the victory.
Miller helped secure a second-half lead with 10 points after the break.
Johannigman led all scorers with 20 points, a season-high. Miller followed with 13 points, and Niese added 10 points. Freshman Stacy Fox shot 5-for-6 from the foul line and totaled seven points. Helms chipped in four and senior Courtney Billingsley added one.
The junior varsity teams did not play, so head coach Jessi McConnell used her bench to give younger players varsity minutes.
“They all did very well,” said McConnell of the reserves. “They held their own.”
In Saturday’s loss to Trinity Lutheran, South led by one point with 1:30 left in the game. However, South turnovers led to two scores by the host Cougars to take control and win.
Freshman Delanie Diekhoff came off the bench to cap the scoring with a personal milestone – four straight South points for her first career varsity points.
Helms led South with 13 points. Fox and Miller scored 10 apiece. Fox hit 6-for-7 from the stripe, while Miller hit 4-for-4. Niese scored eight, while Billingsley, Johannigman and Diekhoff scored four apiece. Junior Olivia Watkins chipped in two.
South shot 13-for-19 (68 percent) from the foul line.
The games Tuesday night at home against Edinburgh (2-11) were postponed to Monday, Feb. 3.
Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.