,LAURINBURG — Turnovers continued to plague the Lady Scots on Thursday, as they committed 33 turnovers in their 55-40 loss to the conference leading Pinecrest Lady Patriots.
It’s an issue second-year head coach Mallarie Snow is painfully aware of, as her team is averaging over 25 turnovers per game.
“That’s what’s been plaguing us, we just have to protect the ball,” Snow said. “We’re looking for ball handlers and I think that is the hardest part is we need to be confident enough to dribble the ball.”
Despite the turnovers, the Lady Scots found themselves with a 12-8 lead of Pinecrest at the end of the first quarter, courtesy of four baskets from senior Tykeria McNair, a basket from sophomore Skylar York and two free-throws from junior Niaria Leach.
Pinecrest turned up the heat in the second quarter, as their pressure defense caused turnovers and forced steals. The Lady Scots only had two baskets as Pinecrest outscored the Lady Scots 16-4 to take a 24-16 lead into the break.
The Lady Scots defense stepped up in the third quarter and kept Pinecrest on their toes as the Lady Scots tried to close the gap.
By the end of the quarter, the Lady Scots had trimmed Pinecrest’s lead to 12 points, 39-27 but turnovers proved to be the difference maker as Pinecrest walked off with the 55-40 victory.
The Lady Scots offense was led by senior Tykeria McNair who had a career high 21 points followed by junior Niaria Leach with four. Three Lady Scots tallied three points — Miste Clark, Jahkayla Walker and Tremaine Peterson — while three players scored two points, Mylasia Pratt, Asjah Swindell and Skylar York.
After a 28-day hiatus Snow knew her team would be a little rusty, but credited them for hustling the entire game.
“I told them I was proud of their hustle, that was one of the things I put on the board is don’t get out worked, out hustled and a ball on the floor I want to see a body and they did that a whole lot better,” she said.
Snow said she had seen flashes of that greatness from McNair during the summer, and was happy for her to hit that career high.
“She works very hard, for her to have a blowout game like this I know she’s excited,”Snow said. “At one point she shot a three and I told her to get back on defense and she apologized, she said ‘I’m sorry coach, I got excited.’ I had to let her have that moment. It was good for her to know that she could do it.”
With the loss, the Lady Scots fall to 2-9 overall and 1-4 in Sandhills Athletic Conference play while Pinecrest improves to 12-1 overall and 5-0 in conference play.
The Lady Scots had a quick turnaround as they hosted Richmond on Friday in conference action. The team will hit the road on Jan. 17 traveling to Fayetteville to play Westover in non-conference action. The Lady Scots will return home on Jan. 19 to host Jack Britt at 6 p.m.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or email@example.com.