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December 23, 2010

Shorthanded SCR-I Lets Key Conference Game Slip Away in 4th Quarter

Heading into the season, Scotland County and Putnam County were the two teams tabbed by conference coaches to be vying for the league title. But fans didn't get a real sense of the matchup on Tuesday night in Unionville as both squads went into their first conference tilt shorthanded.

The Midgets were without a couple key performers due to discipline issues while the Tigers were minus three key big men due to injuries and academic problems.

With just eight men on the bench, Scotland County, delivered the first blow, jumping out to a 10-4 advantage in the first period. Dakota Wells canned a pair of three pointers to help SCR-I pull ahead early.

The Tigers battled through foul trouble for the lone remaining post player on the roster. Brock Bondurant, who scored the game's first two points, was quickly forced to the bench with a pair of fouls.

Coach Lance Campbell was forced to go to a lineup of all guards, inserting freshman Cordie Kigar after Lee Tague picked up his second foul in the first period.

The small lineup held its own thanks to the sharp shooting of Wells and Kasey Dial. the two seniors combined for four three pointers in the first half.

But it was a three pointer at the buzzer from Tague that sent SCR-I to the locker room leading 25-19.

The two teams slowed down the scoring in the third period. SCR-I managed just two field goals in the eight minute stretch, as Tague scored on an offensive rebound to start the second half and Sabe Sears connected on a jumper to end the period. In between, the Tigers focused on defensive pressure and knocking down the occasional free throw.

That allowed Scotland County to maintain a seven-point cushion heading into the final quarter.

Unfortunately that's when the wheels came off for the Tigers. Putnam County's press finally began taking its toll on SCR-I. and the Midgets used numerous turnovers to outscore Scotland County 19-4 in the game's final six minutes to pick up the key conference win 49-40.

Scotland County (4-3, 2-1 TRC) was led in scoring by Wells with 11 points. Tague finished with nine points and Dial and Bondurant each added seven points. Brody Heidenwith led Putnam County (2-4, 2-1) with 16 points.


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