FAYETTEVILLE — Lady Scots head coach Mallarie Snow tightly gripped an apple shaped stress ball as she watched her team fight back from a 10-point deficit to let another game slip through their fingers.
The Lady Scots found themselves in a 10-point hole halfway through the second quarter, 25-15 before battling back to within seven at the end of the first half, 33-26.
The second half kicked off with a 6-0 run by the Lady Falcons on a basket and trip to the free-throw line by Tayler Allen and Nyielah Nick. The run caused Snow to squeeze her apple almost in half as she called for a timeout.
Snow made it very clear to her team that they were being out hustled on the court and needed to start taking care of the basketball and playing some defense.
The Lady Scots responded and stepped up their defense and started driving to the basket to make it an eight-point Seventy-First lead by the end of the third quarter, 49-41.
Lady Scots senior Tremaine Peterson trimmed the deficit to six, 49-43 with a basket to open the quarter. Junior Niaria Leach split a pair of free-throws to make it a five-point game, but the Lady Scots couldn’t slow down Seventy First’s offense long enough to get any closer to the lead.
The Lady Scots were doomed by turnovers and empty trips to the free-throw line. In all, the Lady Scots were 11-of-20 from the free-throw line for 55 percent average.
Despite the loss, Tuesday’s game was the highest scoring game of the season for the Lady Scots with 54 points. The team’s previous highest scoring game was a 48-13 win over Purnell Swett back in December.
With the loss, the Lady Scots move to 2-14 overall and 1-9 in Sandhills Athletic Conference play while Seventy-First improves to 13-7 overall and 7-4 in conference play.
The Lady Scots remain in seventh place in the SAC-8 standings at 1-9, one game ahead of the winless Lady Rams. Seventy-First is in fourth place at 7-4 behind Pinecrest, Jack Britt and Lumberton. The Lady Patriots lead the conference at 10-0 followed by Jack Britt in second at 8-3 and Lumberton in third at 7-3.
Hoke County and Richmond find themselves in the middle of the pack in fifth and sixth place at 5-5 and 3-7 respectively.
The Lady Scots remain on the road Friday as they head to Southern Pines to take on the Lady Patriots. Tip off for that game is set for 6 p.m.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]